Dec. 17, 2010 at 1:42 PM ET
Along with pink-slipping 600 employees earlier this week —which may have been the catalyst that sent Yahoo search engine users to pornographic images for a few hours Tuesday afternoon — Yahoo is also sending several of its products off into the "sunset," a gentle way of saying it's euthanizing Yahoo! Picks, Altavista, AlltheWeb, Yahoo! Bookmarks, Yahoo! Buzz, MyBlogLog and Del.icio.us.
We reached out to Yahoo to confirm these closures and the rationale behind the decisions. Yahoo sent us its statement this morning:
Part of our organizational streamlining involves cutting our investment in underperforming or off-strategy products to put better focus on our core strengths and fund new innovation in the next year and beyond. We continuously evaluate and prioritize our portfolio of products and services, and do plan to shut down some products in the coming months such as Yahoo! Buzz, our Traffic APIs, and others. We will communicate specific plans when appropriate.
Yahoo's Dana Lengkeek also added, "We continue to invest in areas of strategic focus such as local, mobile and communications, among others."
UPDATE: Del.icio.us users may not need to move their bookmarks after all. The Del.icio.us blog posted a message that points to not a final end, but a sale. (The blog is down, but we were able to find this on Hacker News.)
What’s Next for Delicious?
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. We can only imagine how upsetting the news coverage over the past 24 hours has been to many of you. Speaking for our team, we were very disappointed by the way that this appeared in the press. We’ll let you know more as things develop.
That should be a relief for some set off by the publication of a Yahoo slide.
MyBlogLog co-founder Eric Marcoullier tweeted: "Aaaaaand that's all she wrote for Delicious and MyBlogLog. #EndOfAnEra" and included a Yfrog link to a picture of a webcast slide showing the casualties, but that image has since been pulled. Luckily, other sites grabbed a screenshot of it before it disappeared. (See the image above.)
Marcoulier's post touched a nerve with Yahoo chief product officer Blake Irving, who tweeted back a miffed response that threatened to add one more person to the unemployment line: "Really dude? Can't wait to find out how you got the web cast. Whoever it is, gone!"
(I'm still getting over an exec using "dude" publicly. In a tweet!)
The leak of the slide, which was apparently part of a presentation for the Yahoo product team following the announcement of the layoffs, spread quickly and ignited a whole lotta griping about one particular service: Del.icio.us, which gives busy people the option of saving bookmarks for later, sharing them with others, and organizing all of them in one place.
Del.icio.us' imminent demise is not going over well with people, who have already tagged Yahoo as this year's Grinch for putting people out of work so close to the holidays.
Some tweets calling out Irving, in particular:
- @blakei Really, dude? Threatening to fire an employee via Twitter? You should be gone.
- @blakei wants to whack Yahoos who have not already been whacked earlier this week
- @Blakei you see what happens when you go all Tony Soprano on employees!
- @Blakei Like I'd ever work for your outfit. Jesus. Guess you just pretty much revealed what the working environment is like at Yahoo!
- Yahoo to possibly shut down Delicious. http://bit.ly/eMVsno That is just dumb on so many levels. Wow. cc @Blakei
- @Blakei Can't believe you are shutting down delicious. I must use that site 20 times a day. :(
- @Blakei Bad bad decision on pulling the plug on @delicious. It's not too late tho. You can still #savedelicious
AllThingsD columnist Kara Swisher gave Irving an obvious suspect:
In the meantime, you might want to start moving those bookmarks onto another site.
The Next Web suggests "Six Solid Alternatives," including Google Bookmarks, Historio.us and Zootool. That list has some overlap with Lifehacker, which also makes a few recommendations, including its No.1 alternative: Pinboard, which, "Due to very heavy traffic, some background services (import, archiving) are running slowly." I think I hear a great migration in progress, as Del.icio.us users find other means of keeping their bookmarks.