$500k cash the side story in $16m Digg break-up

Digg's $500,000 sale to Betaworks is just one element of the social site's overall break-up, according to new industry whispers, with talk that the total figure involved is more in the region of $16m. Reports that Betaworks had snapped up Digg's assets for half a million dollars yesterday surprised many who remembered the link sharing site's halcyon days, but TechCrunch's sources suggest that was merely the mopping up after the best parts had already been spoken for.

The biggest chunk of the pie came from the Washington Post, a source says, which paid around $12m for the Digg team. Meanwhile, business-centric social network LinkedIn supposedly paid up to $4m for a Digg patent bundle. That, made up of around 15 different filings, covered the technology behind "clicking a button to vote up a story" among other things.

What Betaworks actually got for its investment is the Digg domain name, the code behind the site, the existing data, and all of the traffic. The company will apparently license the necessary patents for running the business as it sees fit from LinkedIn.

Those intentions are still unclear, though there has been talk of a new "cloud-based version of Digg" that will work with the News.me iPhone and iPad apps. The News.me team will also be running the web-based Digg.com, though likely with some changes along the way.