Digg.com is testing a new approach to monetizing its content this week, with the introduction of a platform that would let users Digg advertisements or bury them just as they do with news content. According to the company’s blog, these votes will have an immediate effect on ads’ value and relevance: the more popular an ad becomes, the less the advertiser will have to pay. Conversely, the more an ad is buried, the more the advertiser is charged.
Ads also will be subject to removal from the system if they prove unpopular with users. This may seem risky to some advertisers, but the company believes it will encourage them to optimize their campaigns, making them more effective and relevant to the Digg community. The ads will be marked as sponsored content, but will otherwise have the same “look and feel” as the news stories.
The approach is somewhat similar to one implemented by Facebook a while ago, though in this case Digg users are already heavily engaged with voting on content they see on the site. Electronic Arts and Intel will be among the first advertisers to use the product, which will be in beta for the next few months.