Rumors were flying Thursday that social bookmarking service Delicious would be killed after the popular web service showed up in the "sunset" section of a leaked internal Yahoo slide laying out the company's new priorities as it continues its turnaround efforts. On Friday a Yahoo's Chris Yeh posted comments on the Delicious blog intended to squelch the shutdown rumblings. (Also see: A glimpse of what's next to go at Yahoo)
Before Delicious fans get too excited or relieved, however, know that Yeh isn't exactly guaranteeing a bright future for the service. More like hoping for a bright future. Here's what he wrote: Many of you have read the news stories about Delicious that began appearing yesterday. We’re genuinely sorry to have these stories appear with so little context for our loyal users. While we can’t answer each of your questions individually, we wanted to address what we can at this stage and we promise to keep you posted as future plans get finalized. Is Delicious being shut down? And should I be worried about my data? No, we are not shutting down Delicious. While we have determined that there is not a strategic fit at Yahoo!, we believe there is a ideal home for Delicious outside of the company where it can be resourced to the level where it can be competitive. What is Yahoo! going to do with Delicious? We’re actively thinking about the future of Delicious and we believe there is a home outside the company that would make more sense for the service and our users. We’re in the process of exploring a variety of options and talking to companies right now. And we’ll share our plans with you as soon as we can. What if I want to get my bookmarks out of Delicious right away? As noted above, there’s no reason to panic. We are maintaining Delicious and encourage you to keep using it. That said, we have export options if you so choose. Additionally, many services provide the ability to import Delicious links and tags. So there you go. Yahoo is trying to sell Delicious, which as of two years ago had 5.3 million users. Given that Yahoo now has pretty much publicly stated that Delicious adds nothing strategically to the company, it's likely that a prospective buyer can get the bookmarking service for well under the guesstimated $15 million to $30 million (or higher) that Yahoo paid founder Joshua Schachter and his financial backers almost exactly five years ago. It's all about creating value.
Chris Nerney writes about the business side of technology market strategies and trends, legal issues, leadership changes, mergers, venture capital, IPOs and technology stocks. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisNerney.