Digg Wants to Be the Twitter of News

Digg founder Kevin Rose is close to his first major launch since taking over as CEO and instituting layoffs. He published a video today on his personal YouTube (s GOOG) account laying out the site’s upcoming version 4 release, due “very soon” (found via TechCrunch).

The new Digg — which has been in the works for at least a year now — will extend the site’s current social features (which are pretty minimal) to allow for both friending and following other users and publishers. So if you friend a user, you see what they Digg and comment on; if you follow a publisher, you see everything they publish. The result is a personalized news page that seems like a combination of Google Reader, the Facebook news feed and Twitter. These features aren’t surprising; they’d been discussed publicly by previous CEO Jay Adelson and others at the company.

Here’s the key quote from the video, from Rose describing Digg’s new value proposition:

“Because we’re only links and news we cut out all the miscellaneous status updates like you see on other sites.”

This sounds like a good approach. The problem, though, will be standing out from those other sites that people already use to get their news *and* updates together, since much of that information will end up being duplicated and redundant for people who use more than one of the services.