Looking back at 2003, a time before Digg and Reddit, the idea of sharing links was relatively new. Delicious offered an innovative solution to save and share bookmarks with friends. Fast forward seven years, Yahoo has shown signs of wanting to sell the service five years after its acquisition. The tech community is actively discussing the future of Delicious after a leaked slide from a Yahoo meeting enraged many users.
When Delicious launched, the concept of having users share bookmarks with one another and store links online was still new and revolutionary. Today with the vast offerings out there, Delicious has lost the fresh appeal it once had. Sites like StumbleUpon offer a fun experience to browse and discover new links. Other services such as Springpad help organize and sort everything from tasks to restaurant reviews to miscellaneous thoughts. Delicious seems rather rudimentary in comparison, it does not categorize links by anything more than simple tags, which have lost relevance. Even after many years, Yahoo failed to integrate a commenting system to engage users in discussion.
Yahoo’s decision to sell Delicious is not unwarranted given its decreasing significance over the years. Yahoo is partly to blame for this, as Delicious has always remained an outsider at the company. Since the acquisition, there have been few features added to the service and very little integration with the rest of Yahoo. For instance, there are no “share on Delicious” buttons anywhere on Yahoo properties. In addition, with similar services including Yahoo Bookmarks and Yahoo Buzz simply added to the loss of focus and confusion for users. In fact, Yahoo listed both for “Sunset” as well.
In response to Yahoo’s news, some have taken it upon themselves to make their own Delicious clone: 1r7. Remarkably, that clone was created in a mere ten hours, demonstrating the bare-bone nature of the service. Had Yahoo innovated the Delicious brand and tightly integrated it with the rest of the Yahoo network, it would not have been so easily replaceable. This sunset has possibly caused a loss in customer confidence in all of Yahoo. Many tech pundits have even expressed concern to continue storing images in Flickr. While it is unfortunate that Delicious may now have to shut down, it is hard to tell how long the site would have survived with its dwindling user base. For now, Delicious users can only hope that the service can find a new home.