Thursday, December 16, 2010

Yahoo Shuts Down Delicious

Delicious was a good service, and I’m sorry to see all the data and metadata that people have entered go away. Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz is rather cavalier about it:

First, we’ve found a lot of duplication in work between Products and the regions. Second, it’s no secret that we’re cutting investment in underperforming and non-core products so we can focus on our strengths (like email, the homepage, search, mobile, advertising, content and more).

Now that Yahoo has proven to be an unreliable steward, there’s some concern about the future of Flickr. Thomas Hawk:

You know what I don’t see in there? Flickr. Photos. I’m assuming that you consider Flickr one of those “underperforming and non-core products.”

Do you even realize what you have with Flickr? It’s the largest well organized library of images in the world. Not only that, it has a very strong social networking component. In fact, Flickr may represent (if managed correctly) your single biggest opportunity to launch a much larger and more lucrative social network (and stock photography agency as well).

There are lots of good comments on Hawk’s post. I think that Flickr is valuable enough that it’s not in any danger. There are ways for it to make money, and Yahoo could spin Flickr off or sell it if it doesn’t want to run it. Still, I think Yahoo is missing an opportunity here.

Update (2010-12-17): Yahoo (via David Heinemeier Hansson):

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.

John Gruber:

Note that Yahoo does not dispute that the entire Delicious team has been fired, though. What kind of sense does this make? We’d like to sell the service, find it a new home, and to help, we’ve fired the entire product team, effective immediately.

Update (2010-12-31): Jason Scott:

Yahoo! actually went on the offensive and claimed they weren’t going to kill Delicious but sell it, which makes me laugh, because no such thing could be true—the most glaring reason being that Yahoo’s authentication system infests every one of their properties, and a lot of people on Delicious are using Yahoo IDs.

[…]

Yahoo! Video was the second-most used video hosting site behind YouTube. Number 2! And all of it, all video, is going to be deleted. Thousands and thousands of videos, many of which are likely hosted nowhere else, completely gone. This is awful. I am almost positive it’ll be beyond the abilities of Archive Team to get even a tiny fraction of all that video.

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