Yahoo has acquired social bookmarking pioneer Del.icio.us.
Social bookmarking is a type of online service that lets users save, annotate and tag links to their favorite websites and share their lists with other users.
Yahoo and Del.icio.us announced the deal on Friday afternoon online. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Community drives Web future
"Together we'll continue to improve how people discover, remember and share on the Internet, with a big emphasis on the power of community," Del.icio.us founder and CEO Joshua Schachter wrote in his company's official blog.
In the official blog from the search engine unit at Yahoo, Jeremy Zawodny wrote that the Del.icio.us team will be working "in close proximity" to Flickr, a photo-sharing service that Yahoo bought in March of this year.
"Just like we've done with Flickr, we plan to give del.icio.us the resources, support, and room it needs to continue growing the service and community," Zawodny wrote.
Flickr works in a very similar way to Del.icio.us by letting users not only create online photo albums but also tag and share their pictures with other users.
Online - the new society
Zawodny also alluded to a likely collaboration of Schachter's group with the Yahoo team developing My Web, a service that is in beta, or test mode, and which is conceptually identical to Del.icio.us.
Flickr and Del.icio.us are considered good examples of what some call the Web 2.0 era of Internet services.
Web 2.0 companies are said to share some key principles, such as an emphasis on making end users integral to their services and giving them the ability to take part in creating, sharing and managing content. Web 2.0 companies also tend to be big believers in open platforms that foster the development of Web services that build on existing applications and websites run by third parties.
In an interview Friday, Schachter said he's convinced that Del.icio.us will thrive as a result of the acquisition because Yahoo truly comprehends the concept of social bookmarking.
"It just made sense in terms of vision, direction, technology, you name it. It's a good fit in every dimension," Schachter said.
Keeping it zeal
The acquisition makes sense for Yahoo, as it tries to round out its "ecosystem" of Web 2.0 online services, of which tagging and social bookmarking are an important part, said Allen Weiner, a Gartner analyst.
Web 2.0 is becoming a crowded market, so many new entrants face a choice between failure of acquisition, he observed.
"Yahoo has done a spectacularly good job of buying these small companies and letting them retain the entrepreneurial drive that got them where they are, while also taking the intellectual property developed and using effectively across Yahoo properties," Weiner said.
Initial investors the bright and good
Del.icio.us appeared in September 2003. Schachter wrote most of the code himself. He ran the site in his spare time until earlier this year, seeing its user base grow to over 200,000 registered users along the way.
In April, Schachter announced that he had accepted outside investment in order to focus full-time on the project.
Led by Union Square Ventures investors then included Amazon.com, Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen, investor and Internet pundit Esther Dyson, and Tim O'Reilly, CEO and founder of the O'Reilly Media.