Yahoo is unveiling an entirely new Bookmarks product this evening at new.bookmarks.yahoo.com – new interface, new back-end, the works. A screencast created by Yahoo developer Tom Chi is here which gives an excellent overview of the service (Chi also created the background music for the screencast). Compare that to the existing Bookmarks product (screenshot is here) and it’s clear how significant the overhaul is.
Yahoo Bookmarks, while invisible to most cutting edge web users, still claims around 20 million active users (compared to only 1 million for del.icio.us).
Until today, Yahoo Bookmarks (which is a separate product from del.icio.us and My Web) stored only the URL, title and comment for a particular bookmark. The new product caches all text on the page, stores a thumbnail view, and allows both categorization (folders) and tagging of each bookmark.
The new Bookmarks product is also integrated with a new version of Yahoo Toolbar for Internet Explorer, allowing for one-click bookmarking. Searches on the Toolbar search bar also auto-complete to suggest bookmarks stored for that user.
The new product has been moved to the same platform as My Web, with the sharing and some other features stripped out for now (look for del.icio.us to also move to this platform in the near future, while keeping it’s unique look and feel).
In a briefing today, Yahoo said they may eventually begin integrating user Bookmarks directly into search results (they integrate My Web bookmarks in a very minimal way already). This could pose a competitive problem for new search startups like Wink, which already combine traditional search results with user-generated bookmarks.