If you haven’t used Flock, one of the original “social browsers,” then…
Actually, that was the problem. So few HAD used Flock, at least long term. Technically speaking, they had 10 million users, but based upon numbers from third parties that active usage of the beleaguered browser was likely much lower.
As a result, Flock becomes the 8th company in 8 months to be swallowed up by Zynga, and like most of the previous acquisitions, this is likely a move to accumulate talent. There is no need to add to an already-loaded browser segment, and even the niche of being a social browser is being contested by Rockmelt.
According to co-founder Shawn Hardin, “Our team will help Zynga in achieving their goal of building the most fun, social games available to anyone, anytime – on any platform.”
Why Flock Failed
The concept was there. As social media emerged through blogging and social bookmarking in 2005, Flock was a leader in the social browsing arena. The idea was that as social media grew, there would be a need to integrate tools within the browser itself that could consolidate the social experience and help users to share, vote, post, and whatever else they might do on their social graph straight from the browser. It was a concept that was ahead of its time.
As it turned out, it may have been too far ahead of its time. Few understood what social media was at the time, let alone why they would need anything other than Internet Explorer. At the time, few knew what a browser was.
Originally built on Firefox and later transitioned to Chromium, Flock never really took off. Firefox itself was able to integrate tools early on without being labeled as a niche browser, and that pretty much doomed any need for a browser specific to social.
The forward thinking and innovative technology that developed Flock will likely come through now that they are in an industry that is showing exponential growth.