Delicious launched a new home page this morning, combining recent tagging activity and cross-referenced links on Twitter to deliver what it calls the hottest news from around the web in real time. While the exact formula behind the front page remains unclear, its contents are clearly changing minute by minute.Yahoo's social bookmarking service
It is something the site probably should have done a while ago and if done correctly could make other services, like Digg, look all the more behind the times. The move could also help Delicious survive the coming Yahoo Search purge at the hands of Bing.
The new front page is focused on political and tech news instead of the most popular topic on Delicious, web design. There also appears to be some smart filtering of the Twitter messages being counted, as the numbers are far lower than other services' counts and seem to exclude the spammy retweeting bots that pump up big news sources in other retweet counting services.
We've long believed that Delicious is one of the most under-appreciated social media services remaining from the early days of the social web. This new version could help win back some of the early love, but it does represent a radical shift away from the original vision most people have of the service as a tool for bookmarking things you want to return to later. The founder of Delicious, Joshua Schacter, said on Twitter last night "i hate the delicious twitter integration (sharing != saving) but i like the new search a great deal."
The pressure on Digg to find a way to speed up the pace with which it surfaces news on its front page has got to be growing. Note that Delicious hasn't decided to put its links inside a toolbar as Digg, StumbleUpon and many other services have. That's nice.
For a closer look at Delicious and the real-time web, see our recent posts Five Great Delicious Hacks, in Five Minutes, for Delicious's 5th Birthday and our Introduction to the Real-Time Web.