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Yahoo is shutting down Delicious, heralding the end of a tasty era [Updated]

Del.icio.us has lived a long life -- having been around since 2003 -- but Yahoo! has confirmed the demise of the delectable bookmark service. It comes as no surprise after news of the company's recent layoff blitz, and the Delicious team has been on the list of expected victims for well over a year. It's not the only property getting the "sunset" treatment from Yahoo!, either; Yahoo! Picks, Yahoo! Bookmarks, Alltheweb, Altavista, and MyBlogLog are all going the way of the dinosaur along with it.

While it's a bit sad to see such an aged fixture of the Internet begin to fade away, it's also a sign of the times. Bookmarking services in general just don't seem to have the draw that they did back in their glory days. Browsers that sync bookmarks, whether through a built-in system or a plug-in, have taken a firm hold on the issue of multi-computer bookmarking. Social networks have become just as good at sharing links as sites that were built to simply share links. So really, mourning sites like Delicious is akin to yearning for the days when we had to install a special plug-in just to get tabs in our browsers, isn't it?

Even if it isn't, there's still the fact that it had the misfortune of becoming a property of Yahoo! -- a company that can't even keep itself relevant. So this round of layoffs, "sunsets," mergers, and scale-backs is not likely to be the last.

UPDATE: There's some pretty major back-peddling going on at Yahoo! right now. After witnessing a full day of rage in response to their plans to kill the bookmarking site, Yahoo! execs now say that they're going to sell Delicious. There's also now a post at the Delicious blog that talks about the future of the service. It was unreachable for several hours after going up (further adding to the confusion) but seems to be available now. This is what the team has to say about the site getting shut down:
"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."
The team also encourages users to stay on, and not begin exporting their bookmarks in a mass exodus. There's "no reason to panic," as they put it, since they're actively seeking a way out of this -- and because they're already in talks with other companies.

Tags: bookmarks, del.icio.us, delicious, layoffs, social bookmarking, social networking, SocialBookmarking, SocialNetworking, yahoo

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