According to TechCrunch, Yahoo has fired the entire staff of the Delicious social bookmarking service and will be shutting it down shortly. (Along with Altavista and MyBlogLog.) They will also be closing Yahoo Buzz and some of their API services.
Yahoo acquired Del.icio.us back in 2005, and has done little with it. They haven’t run ads on the site or really made any apparent effort to monetize the service. And instead of, I don’t know, selling the service to someone who could make it profitable, they decide to just shut it all down. (Let’s not forget that a meticulously-tagged index of links and their popularity is a wonderful mine of data that advertisers and publishers would love to be able to get metrics from.)
Suffice to say, I am majorly unhappy about this. I have been a Del.icio.us user for years, and have over 2,500 tagged bookmarks stored in the service. Yahoo is suddenly yanking the rug out from under users who have been depending on the service for years. We would gladly put up with ads, or maybe even premium plans. But no, Yahoo is just saying “screw you” to everyone.
Yahoo is dead to me. One by one they are closing the few services that are worth anything. (I assume Flickr and the wonderful BOSS Search API can’t be too far behind?) The services that they are keeping around are things like their vapid content offerings and underwhelming webmail application. They are still stuck in the ’90s, and they are blatantly disregarding the assets that are their most valuable.
Anyway, be sure to export your Delicious bookmarks as soon as possible so you don’t lose them when the site closes. Find an alternative service or simply import them into your web browser’s bookmarking tool.
Update: Yahoo has announced that they will not be shutting Delicious down after all.