Think you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Take a look at the new features at Delicious.com and you’ll think otherwise. Yahoo has announced a series of upgrades that makes Delicious — the granddaddy of social bookmarking — more relevant and useful than it’s been in years.
Sure, SEOs and online marketers have continued to appreciate the value of getting a bookmark on the Delicious “Popular” page, but regular users will appreciate today’s upgrades. They involve a new take on hot/fresh bookmarks, new sharing features, and improved search functionality. Here’s a look.
Twitter-based Fresh Bookmarks
The most obvious upgrade is a new tab on the Delicious.com home page called “Fresh Bookmarks.” Yahoo is so sure of the value of this new tab that it replaces the old “Popular Bookmarks” as the default view on delicious.com.
The web pages listed here use a new algorithm based both on what delicious.com users are bookmarking and what Twitter users are talking about. Each page listed includes a “Recent Tweets” indicator that can be clicked to see who’s-saying-what about each topic.
Yahoo says the pages listed on this new tab will use factors such as the number of delicious.com bookmarks and tweets, and those tweets don’t even need to include the URL of the bookmark. There’s an obvious concern over noise and spam anytime you bring Twitter data into such a bright spotlight. Delicious will need to watch this closely.
The links on this new tab will come mostly from the technology, web, politics, and media categories, Yahoo says. For regular users, this could be a welcome change of pace from the web design-heavy content that usually shows up on the Popular tab. But others are sure to prefer the old home page. It would be nice if users could choose which tab they see by default.
What’s Yahoo using to power this? Well, you may recall my article earlier this year about Tweetnews, a mashup that uses Twitter conversations to rank articles appearing in Yahoo News. That was a pet project of Yahoo’s Vik Singh, and this is its first official use on a Yahoo-based product.
Delicious gets a little more social with a new “Send” tab that shows up when you’re saving a bookmark.
It was always easy to send bookmarks to your Delicious network, but this tab now includes options to send the link to Twitter and/or send it to friends via email.
New Delicious Search Options
Perhaps the most functional addition is an improved search engine inside Delicious itself. Delicious now shows suggested searches, a “filter by tag” option, and a timeline-based chart that reveals when pages matching your keyword have been saved. This last feature makes it an important indicator of what you could call Delicious.com Trends.
The new search results page will sometimes include rich content, too. In the screenshot above, you can see two bookmarks of YouTube videos — those videos can be watched inline without leaving Delicious. Yahoo says other content, such as Flickr images and Yelp local data, will also show up in its search results when appropriate.
It’s tempting to write off Yahoo in light of the recent search deal with Microsoft, but the reality is that the company still owns some of the crown jewels of their online space. Flickr and Delicious are two of those, for sure. Yahoo bought Delicious back in 2005, and in the intervening years has made few improvements — a redesign last summer, along with minor things like better browser extensions and web site badges. Along the way, Yahoo lost Delicious founder Joshua Shachter to Google, too.
So, these announcements should be welcome news for all delicious.com users — a course reversal, almost. Delicious isn’t dead. Yahoo’s still paying attention to it. And all of a sudden, it’s cool again.