YouTube founders buy Delicious off Yahoo

Four months after announcing it was seeking a buyer, Yahoo-owned social-bookmarking service Delicious says it's been picked up by company started by YouTube co-founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen.

Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn
2 min read

Social-bookmarking service Delicious has been purchased by AVOS, the company started by YouTube co-founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen. Yahoo said in a statement that it will continue to run the Delicious service until about July. User information will then be handed over to AVOS.

The new owners say they'll continue to run the site as it is. On a frequently asked questions page on Delicious, Yahoo says "there may be a time of adjustment as AVOS relaunches Delicious, but the company's intention is to add new features and grow the service overall."

"We're excited to work with this fantastic community and take Delicious to the next level," Hurley, who's CEO of AVOS, said in a statement. "We see a tremendous opportunity to simplify the way users save and share content they discover anywhere on the Web."

As part of the transition, Yahoo says, users' public and private bookmarks will be preserved. In order to facilitate the changeover, Yahoo is asking users to agree to have their information transferred to the new company. Those who don't agree to AVOS' terms of service will not be able to access their bookmarks or the service, Delicious said.

Delicious, which formerly went by the name "del.icio.us," lets users save bookmarks to the cloud. These can be saved publicly or privately, with the company keeping track of how many times public bookmarks are saved by other users. That functionality turns the site into both a utility and a social news site of sorts, with particularly noteworthy or otherwise trending items surfacing on the front page.

Yahoo acquired the site in 2005. Following the unveiling of a large list of companies that Yahoo planned to shut down as part of its cutbacks last year, Delicious noted that it was no longer a strategic fit at Yahoo, and said that it was seeking outside companies to acquire it.

"We spoke with numerous parties interested in acquiring the site, and chose Chad and Steve based on their passion and unique vision for Delicious," said John Matheny, Yahoo's senior VP of communications and communities.

Hurley and Chen dropped hints about their new business venture during a discussion at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in Manhattan last month. At the time, Hurley said the pair were examining "basic components that every Web site needs to get off the ground," as well as a possible video indexing system. Where Delicious' bookmarking service would fit in with those two is unclear. So far San Mateo, Calif.-based AVOS has been described by its founders as a "new Internet company."