Flock (web browser)

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Flock
Flock icon.png
Flock Screenshot.png
Flock 3.5.3 running on Windows 7 displaying its new tab page
Developer(s) Flock, Inc.
Initial release April 11, 2005; 9 years ago (2005-04-11)[1]
Discontinued 3.5.3.4641 (February 1, 2011; 3 years ago (2011-02-01)) [±]
Preview release none (n/a) [±]
Development status Discontinued in April 2011[2]
Operating system Windows, OS X, Linux[3]
Available in Catalan, Chinese (both Traditional and Simplified), English (US, Australian, British, Canadian), Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Japanese, Italian, Polish, Portuguese (Portugal + African Portuguese Speaking Countries and Brazil), Russian, Slovak, Spanish (Latin American and Spain)
Type Web browser
Feed reader
License Freeware[4]
Website flock.com

Flock was a web browser that specialized in providing social networking and Web 2.0 facilities built into its user interface.[5] Earlier versions of Flock used the Gecko HTML rendering engine by Mozilla. Version 2.6.2, released on January 27, 2011, was the last version based on Mozilla Firefox.[6][7] Starting with version 3, Flock was based on Chromium and so used the WebKit rendering engine.[8][9] Flock was available as a free download, and supported Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and, at one time, Linux as well.

Support for Flock was discontinued in April 2011. A year later in April 2012 the old Flock website was back and carried a vague indication that the project might be resurrected, inviting readers to add themselves to a mailing list to receive future news.[10][11][12] As of April 2013 the site redirected to another business, indicating that the resurrection of the web browser did not occur. In August 2014 the site was resurrected once again with a new line of text indicating the continuation of the project stating "We are currently working on something awesome. Enter your email below to be notified when it's ready".[2]

History[edit]

Flock was the successor to Round Two, who raised money from Bessemer Venture Partners, Catamount Ventures, Shasta Ventures and other angel investors. Bart Decrem and Geoffrey Arone co-founded the company.[13] Flock raised $15 million in a fourth round of funding led by Fidelity Ventures on May 22, 2008, for an estimated total of $30 million, according to CNET. The company's previous investors, Bessemer Venture Partners, Catamount Ventures, and Shasta Ventures, also participated in the round.[14]

In January 2011, Flock Inc. was acquired by Zynga.[15] The browser has been discontinued, with support ending April 26, 2011.[16]

Features[edit]

Flock 2.5 integrated social networking and media services including MySpace,[17] Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Flickr, Blogger, Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, etc.[18] When logging into any of the supported social services, Flock can track updates from friends: profiles, uploaded photos, and more. Flock's latest 2.5 version added Twitter Search functionality, multi-casting of status updates to multiple services, and the introduction of instant messaging via Facebook Chat in the browser.

Other features include:

Reception[edit]

In December 2007, Flock won the Mashable Open Web Awards for Applications and Widgets[28] and in March 2008, Flock won the South By Southwest[29] Web Award for Community.[30]

CNET gave the Mac OS X version of Flock 1.0 the title of "Best Mac Software of 2007".[31] PC World's Harry McCracken reviewed Flock as his "New Favorite Web Browser".[32]

In February 2008, AOL announced that it would discontinue support for the Netscape browser, and recommended Flock and Firefox as alternative browsers to its userbase of Netscape 9 users.[33] For the Netscape 8 userbase, AOL recommended only the Flock browser to its users.[34] In March 2008, Flock announced that they had seen "nearly 3 million downloads" and a 135% percent increase in active users in the first two months of 2008. They also announced "more than 70 percent of Flock users making it their default browser of choice".[35]

In May 2008, Flock won the Social Networking category of the Webby Awards.[36][37] Flock was nominated for this award along with Facebook, Bebo and Ning.

When Flock's discontinuation was announced in April 2011, reviewer Joey Sneddon of OMG! Ubuntu! offered the analysis: "Whether this was down to poor implementation design wise (one needs only glance at 'Rockmelt' for an example of a social browser done right) or just general apathy towards having alerts from twitter, flickr, facebook, digg et al. in your face all of the time is moot: Flock has flocked off and for all its innovation it never quite lived up to its own hype."[10]

Awards[edit]

Upon exiting beta, Flock won a number of awards:[25]

  • "Eddy Winner": Flock 2.0 24th Annual Macworld Editors' Choice Awards [38]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Festa, Paul (11 April 2005). "Start-up wants to improve on Firefox". CNET. Retrieved 2010-08-02. 
  2. ^ a b Flock website Retrieved April 11, 2011
  3. ^ "Flock Global Page". Softpedia. SoftNews. Retrieved 15 December 2013. 
  4. ^ "Flock (Discontinued) 3.5.3.4641 / 2.6.1". Softpedia. SoftNews. Retrieved 15 December 2013. 
  5. ^ Flock Browser – Built on Mozilla's Firefox[dead link]
  6. ^ "Flock 2.6.2 Release Notes". Flock. Retrieved September 27, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Powered by Mozilla". Flock. Retrieved September 27, 2014. 
  8. ^ Iedtke, Michael (June 16, 2010). "Flock Browser Gets Faster, Friendlier With Upgrade". ABC. Retrieved June 17, 2010. 
  9. ^ a b c Wayner, Peter (October 19, 2010). "Top 10 specialty Web browsers you may have missed". InfoWorld. p. 2. Retrieved October 28, 2010. 
  10. ^ a b Sneddon, Joey (April 2011). "End of the line for Flock social browser". OMG Ubuntu. Retrieved April 15, 2011. 
  11. ^ Flock Inc (April 15, 2012). "Support for Flock browsers has been discontinued.". Archived from the original on April 29, 2011. Retrieved April 10, 2012. 
  12. ^ Flock.com (n.d.). "Flock". Retrieved April 26, 2012. 
  13. ^ Flock Browser - Company Info[dead link]
  14. ^ "Flock draws $15 million for social browsing". CNET. Retrieved 2012-08-06. 
  15. ^ Wasserman, Todd (2011-01-07). "Zynga Buys Social Web Browser Flock". Mashable. Retrieved 2012-08-06. 
  16. ^ Van Grove, Jennifer (2011-04-12). "Flock Shutters Social Web Browser". Mashable. 
  17. ^ a b Official release announcement on Shawn Harding's blog[dead link]
  18. ^ "Activate Services and Unite Your Social Networks in the People Sidebar". User guides. Flock. Retrieved 2008-10-22. 
  19. ^ "Share Pictures, Text, Audio and Video". User guides. Flock. Retrieved 2008-10-22. 
  20. ^ "View and Share Media through the Media Bar". User guides. Flock. Retrieved 2008-10-22. 
  21. ^ "Track Feeds". User guides. Flock. Retrieved 2008-10-22. 
  22. ^ "Activate and Manage Blogs". User guides. Flock. Retrieved 2008-10-22. 
  23. ^ "Review: Strong, innovative Web browsers emerge". Associated Press. Retrieved 2008-06-26. [dead link]
  24. ^ "Get or Build Add-ons for Flock". User guides. Flock. Retrieved 2008-10-22. 
  25. ^ a b c d "Flock's press". 
  26. ^ a b c "Flock Named As One of PC World's "100 Best Products of 2008"". Retrieved 2008-06-17. 
  27. ^ "The 100 Best Products of 2008". PC World. Retrieved 2008-06-17. 
  28. ^ December 21, 2007 by Adam Hirsch 86 (21 December 2007). "Open Web Awards Winners". Mashable.com. Retrieved 2012-05-21. 
  29. ^ Web Awards
  30. ^ McCarthy, Caroline (11 March 2008). "Oh wait! SXSWi had Web Awards, too". News.com. Retrieved 2012-05-21. 
  31. ^ Parker, Jason (20 December 2007). "Best Mac Software of 2007". Download.com. Retrieved 2012-05-21. 
  32. ^ I Have A New Favorite Web Browser: Flock
  33. ^ "Netscape 9 Users: Time to Flock or Firefox". Blog.netscape.com. 20 February 2008. Retrieved 2012-05-21. 
  34. ^ "Netscape 8 Update Forthcoming: You Can Flock Too!". Blog.netscape.com. Retrieved 2012-05-21. 
  35. ^ "Flock Browser Use Growing Dramatically". Reuters.com. Retrieved 2012-05-21. 
  36. ^ "2008 Webby Award Winners". Webbyawards.com. Retrieved 2012-05-21. 
  37. ^ Flock Wins a Webby Award for Best in Social Networking[dead link]
  38. ^ Michaels, Philip. "Eddy Winner: Flock 2.0". Macworld.com. Retrieved 2012-05-21. 

External links[edit]