YouTube co-founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen have acquired Yahoo's Delicious for an undisclosed sum. The once popular service, founded in 2003, enabled people to bookmark websites, tag them and discover new sites from other people. It's regarded as one of the pioneering content sharing services alongside other 'web 2.0' startups like Flickr and Digg, but the company had a hard time innovating ever since Yahoo bought them in 2005.
With no clear business plan in sight and the bills mounting, the troubled search company had put Delicious on a list of 'sunset' products back in December and laid off most of its staff as it turned focus to more profitable areas.
The news prompted a groundswell of support from longtime users who didn't want to see the service go belly up and apparently it paid out. Hurley and Chen say they are "committed to running and improving Delicious going forward" working closely with the user community, and are "aggressively hiring to build a world-class team to take on the challenge of building the best information discovery service on the web."
The two will roll Delicious into their new Internet venture, AVOS, starting in July 2011. Existing users will be asked for permission to have their data transferred to the new owners' servers, or have the option to export their data if they want to leave. In AVOS' press release, Yahoo's John Matheny says that Yahoo chose Hurley and Chen to take over Delicious "based on their passion and unique vision" for the service – the money was probably good, too.