If you’ve been using the internet for the last 15 years or so, you probably remember, or at least came into contact with, del.icio.us, the pioneer of social bookmarking websites. Founded in 2003, the site had a number of good years before it eventually changed hands more than a few times, and has been considered mostly a forgotten relic since then. But now the sun is setting for del.icio.us, as the service will be shuttered later this month following its sale to rival Pinboard.
As a site that let users save and share their internet bookmarks, del.icio.us’ influence can be seen on sites like Flickr, StumbleUpon, Twitter, Pocket, and Pinterist, as it was one of the first services to use the tagging system for organizing content. It was purchased by Yahoo in 2005 for price between $15-$30 million, where it was largely ignored and mismanaged for several years.
Starting in 2011 it changed hanged regularly every few years: first to AVOS Systems, then to Science Inc in 2014, and again to Delicious Media in 2016. As its fifth and final resting place, Pinboard says it purchased del.icio.us “in part so it wouldn’t disappear from the web” since it views it as “a fascinating piece of web history.”
As a rival, Pinboard came around in 2009 and really started taking off two years later, when del.icio.us users rapidly began jumping ship because of frustrations with changes from AVOS. Pinboard was attractive because of its simple, clean, and fast interface — something del.icio.us once offered — and it now operates on a $11/year subscription plan.
Pinboard founder and developer Maciej Cegłowski says del.icio.us will remain online indefinitely, but will go into read-only mode on June 15th, meaning users will no longer be able to save new bookmarks. They’ll have the option to migrate their data to a Pinboard account, or they can use an export tool and take their bookmarks to another service, but there’s no time limit to do either.