Flock (web browser)
Flock 3.5.3 running on Windows 7 displaying its new tab page
|Initial release||April 11, 2005|
|Last release||220.127.116.1141 (February 1, 2011 ) [±]|
|Preview release||none (n/a) [±]|
|Operating system||Windows, OS X, Linux|
|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)|
Flock is a discontinued web browser that specialized in providing social networking and Web 2.0 facilities built into its user interface. 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. Starting with version 3, Flock was based on Chromium and so used the WebKit rendering engine. Flock was available as a free download, and supported Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and, at one time, Linux as well.
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. 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.
In January 2011, Flock Inc. was acquired by Zynga. The browser has been discontinued, with support ending April 26, 2011.
Flock 2.5 integrated social networking and media services including MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Flickr, Blogger, Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, etc. When logging into any of the supported social services, Flock could 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:
- Native sharing of text, links, photos and videos
- A "Media Bar" showing preview of online videos and photos as well as subscription to photo and video feeds
- A feed reader supporting Atom, RSS, and Media RSS feeds
- A blog editor and reader, allowing direct posting into any designated blog
- A Webkit-mail component allowing users to check supported web-based email off site, compose new messages, and drag-and-drop pictures and videos from the "Media Bar" or webclipboard into a new email message
- Support for third-party add-ons, including a number of Firefox extensions
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. For the Netscape 8 userbase, AOL recommended only the Flock browser to its users. In March 2008, Flock announced that they had seen "nearly 3 million downloads" and a 135% 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".
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."
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- Official release announcement on Shawn Harding's blog Archived October 18, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Activate Services and Unite Your Social Networks in the People Sidebar". User guides. Flock. Archived from the original on October 20, 2008. Retrieved October 22, 2008.
- "Share Pictures, Text, Audio and Video". User guides. Flock. Retrieved 2008-10-22.
- "View and Share Media through the Media Bar". User guides. Flock. Retrieved 2008-10-22.
- "Track Feeds". User guides. Flock. Retrieved 2008-10-22.
- "Activate and Manage Blogs". User guides. Flock. Retrieved 2008-10-22.
- "Review: Strong, innovative Web browsers emerge". Associated Press. Archived from the original on June 28, 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-26.
- "Get or Build Add-ons for Flock". User guides. Flock. Retrieved 2008-10-22.
- "Flock's press".
- "Flock Named As One of PC World's "100 Best Products of 2008"". Retrieved 2008-06-17.
- "The 100 Best Products of 2008". PC World. Retrieved 2015-06-28.
- Adam Hirsch 86 (21 December 2007). "Open Web Awards Winners". Mashable.com. Retrieved 2012-05-21.
- Web Awards Archived March 23, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
- McCarthy, Caroline (11 March 2008). "Oh wait! SXSWi had Web Awards, too". News.com. Retrieved 2012-05-21.
- Parker, Jason (20 December 2007). "Best Mac Software of 2007". Download.com. Retrieved 2012-05-21.
- I Have A New Favorite Web Browser: Flock Archived November 8, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Netscape 9 Users: Time to Flock or Firefox". Blog.netscape.com. 20 February 2008. Retrieved 2012-05-21.
- "Netscape 8 Update Forthcoming: You Can Flock Too!". Blog.netscape.com. Retrieved 2012-05-21.
- "Flock Browser Use Growing Dramatically". Reuters.com. Retrieved 2012-05-21.
- "2008 Webby Award Winners". Webbyawards.com. Retrieved 2012-05-21.
- Flock Wins a Webby Award for Best in Social Networking Archived May 10, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
- Michaels, Philip. "Eddy Winner: Flock 2.0". Macworld.com. Retrieved 2012-05-21.
- Flock website Retrieved April 11, 2011