There's rapid growth, and then there's exponential growth. If you're a growing Web-based business like Digg, where the massive number of users and page views can be monetized to accelerate revenue, the latter is clearly much more preferred, and today, Digg founder Kevin Rose was excited to announce the site had passed the 1 million user mark, in just over two years after the site's start. Crossing the milestone signals continued expansion for the site, which has eclipsed Slashdot in tech news relevance, if not yet in total users, and has become a go-to site to see the day's popular news and oddities.
While the achievement is fantastic, and as Rose mentioned, "a point I never dreamed of", Digg isn't the only Web 2.0 company to reach such an illustrious mark.
* StumbleUpon achieved 1 million users in July of 2006, four years after its inception, and, like Digg, enables users to submit stories and rate them. (Source: Mashable)
* Del.icio.us reported 1 million users in September 2006, just under three years since its start, and saw its growth accelerate following acquisition by Yahoo! earlier that year. In fact, at the time, reporters lauded the service for being much larger than Digg. (Source: TechCrunch)
* In January, Second Life said they were set to exceed 3 million users, and that 1 million of those accounts had logged in during the previous two months. (Source: Second Life Insider)
* LinkedIn says they have more than 9 million subscribers, with 1,070,300 or so being 3 degrees away or less in my network alone.
Meanwhile, Slashdot, the original Digg-like story submission engine, has well more than 1,000,000 users, even if they don't have all the buzz. I clocked in as user 104,197 some time back in 1999, though I haven't been all that active, constantly reading, occasionally submitting stories, but mostly just watching.
What does this mean? Simply that the Web has a lot of active users interested in sharing news and information, and that the most popular brands will quickly gather millions of users if they offer differentiated services. That Digg has gotten there as fast as it has is quite laudable, if not a surprise. Good luck on your race to 10 million, Digg.