YouTube founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, through their company AVOS Systems, purchased Delicious in June 2011. Their goal now is to make the service a solution to the information discovery problem, according to a recent interview with The New York Times.
Delicious, founded in 2003 (a few months before Facebook was launched), was one of the earliest social sharing Web sites. It allows users to create profiles to bookmark links, access those bookmarks from anywhere with an Internet connection, and share those bookmark with others.
Some users tag their links using freely chosen terms. Anyone who logs on to the Delicious Web site can type in freely chosen terms and see what links comes up. For example, typing in delicious.com/tag/web2.0 reveals the following links:
It also maintains lists of popular links on the delicious.com front page.
Delicious, for whatever reason, never reached critical mass the way Facebook or Twitter did; it was mostly popular among a limited population of tech-savvy users.
What Hurley and Chen want to do is introduce Delicious to the rest of the world.
At the heart of their mission is fact that there is a void for a tool that cuts through the clutter for topical information.
There are plenty of tools that serve up links to users, including Google, RSS feeds, Twitter, and Facebook. However, one complaint is the labor intensive process of sifting through an overload of links to find the gems.
On the other hand, social news Web sites like Reddit filter the most compelling content, but lack the ability to flexibly drill down to specific topics.
A service like Delicious, conceptually, could combine the advantages from both types of services: fill the void, and solve the information discovery problem.
No one has got it right yet, said Chen.
To make Delicious more accessible to the masses, Hurley and Chen plan to redesign the homepage to organize around topical events. They also plan to offer personalized recommendations based on sharing habits.
We want to simplify things visually, mainstream the product and make it easier for people to understand what they're doing, said Hurley.