A leaked image of a slide intended for internal use shows Yahoo!’s plans to sunset the social bookmarking service Delicious. Not only does this incident provide evidence of the lack of a social media plan for Yahoo!, but also illustrates the power of social media.
Delicious allows users to tag, save, manage and share web pages from a centralized source. It improves how people discover, remember and share information on the Internet. Delicious made tags a flexible alternative to folders, pioneered the idea of ‘following’ other users (pre-cursor to Twitter) and began sharing information with the world (sounds like Facebook).
In most circles, ‘to sunset’ a service means to let it expire or kill it off. Through the power of social media, Delicious users saw the leaked slide and presumed the worst. With no announcement from Yahoo!, users started investigating alternatives like Pinboard, Zootool and StumbleUpon.
First Yahoo! simply blamed the press for reporting the information in the leaked slide. Now, Yahoo says that there is not a strategic fit with Delicious. From a December 17 blog post, Yahoo! says, “we believe there is a home outside the company that would make more sense for the service and our users.”
Delicious remains functional, however since Yahoo! purchased Delicious in 2005, it hasn’t generated any new innovations or improved its core service. However, even with the management ignoring Delicious, it’s a fantastic resource for finding links, stories and the latest news. Also, you can easily follow friends to see what they’re reading on the web.
If Yahoo! sells Delicious, what will happen to the other popular Yahoo!-owned service, the photo sharing site Flickr?