Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) has sold its Delicious bookmarking site to YouTube (NSDQ: GOOG) co-founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen in a move that likely signals a coming renaissance for the service, which Yahoo had decided no longer fit with its focus on media and communications properties. In a statement, Yahoo says that Hurley and Chen plan to “make the site even easier and more fun to save, share and discover the web’s ‘tastiest’ content.” Hurley, who stepped down as YouTube CEO in October, and Chen, who left YouTube in 2008, say they will run Delicious out of offices a few blocks from where they started YouTube in San Mateo and are “aggressively hiring.”
Yahoo, which purchased Delicious five years ago, gave the site a major refresh in spring 2009, but traffic has fallen off over the last year as people have turned to social networks like Twitter and Facebook to share sites they find. In December, Yahoo said that it was looking for a “home outside the company that would make more sense for the service and our users.”
Several parties had been said to be interested in Delicious, but there were no hints that Hurley and Chen were among them, and in fact a report in March said that Yahoo had sold Delicious to a rival bookmarking service for $5 million. Yahoo is not disclosing how much Hurley and Chen are paying for it. Yahoo purchased the company for a reported $15 million.
Here’s the full announcement:
San Francisco, CA., – April 27, 2011 – Delicious.com, the leading social bookmarking service, has been acquired by the founders of YouTube, Chad Hurley and Steve Chen. As creators of the largest online video platform, they have firsthand experience enabling millions of users to share their experiences with the world. Their vision for Delicious is to continue to provide the same great service users love and to make the site even easier and more fun to save, share, and discover the web’s “tastiest” content. Delicious will become part of AVOS, a new Internet company.
“We’re excited to work with this fantastic community and take Delicious to the next level,” said Chad Hurley, CEO of AVOS. “We see a tremendous opportunity to simplify the way users save and share content they discover anywhere on the web.”
“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, SVP of Communications and Communities at Yahoo!.
The YouTube founders plan to work closely with the community over the next few months to develop innovative features to help solve the problem of information overload. “We see this problem not just in the world of video, but also cutting across every information-intensive media type,” said Chen.
Going back to their roots, Hurley and Chen located Delicious in downtown San Mateo, California, blocks away from where they started YouTube. They’re aggressively hiring to build a world-class team to take on the challenge of building the best information discovery service on the web.