Digg has added the first in a series of new social-networking capabilities, claiming the new tools will let users better interact and share content.

The user profile allows users to personalise their Digg identity and to interact with people they designate as 'friends' on the site, said Jay Adelson, Digg's CEO. The update also lets content be filtered by friends of a user, he said.

The new features are aimed at providing new ways for users to sort through the 7,000 to 8,000 stories submitted to Digg every day, he added.

"We're giving users the ability to say a little bit more about themselves [and] to establish for the first time ever private messaging between themselves and other users on the site," he said. "I might have a short list of 20 people I want to have a conversation with on a certain topic."

Users can also use the feature to select stories by topic, and to access stories their friends have submitted on commented on, Adelson said.

Before the end of the year, Digg plans to launch an alerting feature to allow users to get email alerts such as weekly or daily digests about stories on a particular topic or stories suggested by friends, he added.

Next month, the site will add a dedicated images section that will let users submit images to Digg. And later this year, the site will add an engine that will be used to recommend stories to individual users based on their particular interests, Digg said.

The new features are aimed at helping the site - created in 2004 to focus on IT news - to support users whose interests go beyond IT, Adelson said. Today, only 12 percent of Digg's 200 million monthly page views hit on technology stories, he pointed out.

"We have so much more information coming in from all of these different communities that we need to respond to that by giving these communities a place to thrive and allowing them to discuss things with each other or the public in general," he said.