Some of you probably remember the controversy that came last Summer when Netscape launched a social news service which they hoped would compete with Digg. They even went as far as "bribing" some of the top Digg and Reddit users at the time with $1,000 per month to come over to Netscape and submit at least 150 news stories each month to help build a community. It’s been just over a year now since the service launched, and Netscape is calling it quits.
TechCrunch had reported that there was a good chance that AOL (owners of Netscape) was going to get rid of the Digg clone back in the beginning of August, however Netscape didn’t confirm it nor admit it until yesterday when they posted on their blog about some upcoming changes to the site. Among the changes, they noted that they’ve found that the Netscape brand is associated with editorially controlled news instead of socially controlled news. Therefore, they want to provide their users with what they expect from Netscape and they’d soon start redirecting users to the "New Netscape portal experience."
So now users will go from a "Digg-clone" to a "Yahoo-clone." That’s right, the page that users will soon be forwarded to is strikingly similar to Yahoo’s homepage. Apparently coming up with an innovative layout and style for a homepage just isn’t top priority for Netscape? I’m almost surprised that they’re still trying to keep Netscape alive. At this point, I’d think that they’d ditch Netscape and start redirecting people to AOL, especially because most of their content comes from AOL anyway.
The graph below also gives us some indication of what the road for Netscape has been like over the last few years:
At this point I’m even doubtful that their editorially controlled news on their "new portal" will even be enough. What are your thoughts? Does Netscape have a chance of making it much longer?