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Flock (web browser)

Flock
Flock 3.5.3 running on Windows 7 displaying its new tab page
Developer(s) Flock, Inc.
Initial release April 11, 2005 (2005-04-11)[1]
Last release 3.5.3.4641 (February 1, 2011 (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 .comflock

Flock is a discontinued 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.[10][11]

Contents

  • History 1
  • Features 2
  • Reception 3
  • Awards 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

History

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.[12] 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.[13]

In January 2011, Flock Inc. was acquired by Zynga.[14] The browser has been discontinued, with support ending April 26, 2011.[15]

Features

Flock 2.5 integrated social networking and media services including MySpace,[16] Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Flickr, Blogger, Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, etc.[17] 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:

  • Native sharing of text, links, photos and videos[18]
  • A "Media Bar" showing preview of online videos and photos as well as subscription to photo and video feeds[9][19]
  • A feed reader supporting Atom, RSS, and Media RSS[16] feeds[20]
  • A blog editor and reader, allowing direct posting into any designated blog[21]
  • 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[22]
  • Support for third-party add-ons, including a number of Firefox extensions[9][23]

Reception

  • Download.com rated it 5 out of 5 [24]
  • Ranked no. 6 on PC World's list of the 100 best products of 2008 [25][26]

In December 2007, Flock won the Mashable Open Web Awards for Applications and Widgets[27] and in March 2008, Flock won the South By Southwest[28] Web Award for Community.[29]

CNET gave the Mac OS X version of Flock 1.0 the title of "Best Mac Software of 2007".[30] PC World's Harry McCracken reviewed Flock as his "New Favorite Web Browser".[31]

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.[32] For the Netscape 8 userbase, AOL recommended only the Flock browser to its users.[33] 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".[34]

In May 2008, Flock won the Social Networking category of the Webby Awards.[35][36] 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

Upon exiting beta, Flock won a number of awards:[24]

  • Webby Award in social networking, 2008[25]
  • SXSW community Award, 2008 [24][25]
  • Open Web Award for Applications and Widgets, 2007 [24]
  • "Eddy Winner": Flock 2.0 24th Annual Macworld Editors' Choice Awards [37]

See also

References

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

External links

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