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Delicious Has Been Acquired by the Founders of YouTube

Since a Yahoo slide about plans to “sunset” Delicious leaked onto the web, users of the venerable social bookmarking service have been somewhat panicked about the future of their treasure trove of web history and memories, even after Delicious followed up by saying that it would not be shutting down — but it would not be staying at Yahoo either. Now, Delicious’ future home has been revealed: It is being bought by YouTube founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen as part of their new Internet company, AVOS.

Today, we’re pleased to announce that Delicious 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. They are committed to running and improving Delicious going forward.

Providing a seamless transition for users is incredibly important for both companies. Yahoo! will continue to operate Delicious until approximately July 2011. When the transition period is complete, your information will be moved over to Delicious’ new owner.

Starting today, we will ask you to login to Delicious again and agree to let Yahoo! transfer your bookmarks to the new owner. That way, you’ll enjoy uninterrupted use of the service and will keep your account and all of your bookmarks when we make the transition. For more information on the Delicious transition, please refer to this FAQ.

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From AVOS’ press release: (AVOS’ website has been having errors establishing a database connection since the news broke, but we’ll try not to read ill omens into that)

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.”

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.

This is the first we’ve heard of AVOS, and it remains to be seen whether this is a project oriented towards making serious money or merely towards preserving at breakeven one of the oldest and most geek-revered Web 2.0 properties. Either way, Hurley and Chen have the money to burn to do this: Chen’s net worth has been pegged at $350 million, and Hurley’s net worth is an estimated $300 million, and the word on the street was that Yahoo — which bought Delicious for a price rumored to be between $15 million and $30 million — was interested in unloading it this year for a paltry $1 million or $2 million.

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