Flock: Officially Dead

By  |  Tuesday, April 12, 2011 at 12:09 pm

I regret to say that this is almost certainly the last thing I’ll ever write about Flock. There was a time when it was my favorite Web browser. But being based on the Mozilla engine turned to be tricky, and last year Flock started all over again as a Chrome variant–one which was quite different from its earlier incarnation. Even if the move was logical, it was confusing.

In January, social gaming behemoth Zynga snapped up the team behind Flock–but not the browser or the company. (Most of the stories about the buyout, including mine, inaccurately said that Zynga had acquired Flock itself.) When Flock CEO Shawn Hardin’s blog post about the news didn’t say anything about the browser surviving, it was ominous. Today, it’s official: Flock is dead.

The company’s history was twisty from the start–it took it about two years to get to the Mozilla-based version I really liked–and while it did attract millions of users, it never became a mainstream hit. I stopped using it regularly some time ago, but I feel a twinge of sadness that its gone. And I’m sorry that Flock doesn’t seem to be explaining what happened: Its home page just says that “Support for Flock browsers will be discontinued as of April 26th, 2011” and recommends Chrome and Firefox.

(Okay, if the company did explain itself, it would presumably say something like “We couldn’t figure out how to make a business of this.”)

Meanwhile, there’s a new social browser on the block: RockMelt, which is backed by Marc Andreessen, the guy who invented graphical browsers in the first place. It’s based on Chrome and quite similar to Flock; I’m glad it exists but haven’t quite warmed up to it so far.

Hey Flock fans, are any of you reading this? If so, where will you migrate?



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13 Comments For This Post

  1. Marcy Says:

    I love Flock! Does that mean it won't open after April 26th? I guess I'll migrate to Chrome but I sure will miss my social media sidebar.

  2. @PawMalon Says:

    RockMelt naturally! I've been using it since day 2 to be exact and I absolutely love it. They just realsed the new beta (RockMelt 2?) which makes the browser faster and better integrated with your various social networks. It's evolving quickly and if you are an internet addict with more information and friends that you can consume, RockMelt is a good option !

  3. stonemirror Says:

    I was a pretty regular Flock user, at least for a time, in both its Mozilla- and Chromium-based incarnations. It had its points, but stability wasn't one of them.

    Right now, the alternative browser I'm using is Rockmelt, which incorporates at least some of the features which Flock did, is Chromium-based, and generally works decently well. It's got some good people behind it, notably Marc Andreessen…

  4. Mark Says:

    Using firefox for serious browsing and chrome for quickies

  5. Stilgar Says:

    If only Opera would die so easily.

  6. Erika Akire Says:

    I will just keep using the old mozilla based Flock.
    I've tried different browsers today, but i can't get used to them.

  7. Jesse Anne Wright Says:

    I am going to hang out on FireFox until Zynga comes out with a web browser. 🙂

  8. Jayskalo Says:

    I'm so sad. flock is my favorite browser. I'm typing this in Flock right now… I guess I'll try Rockmelt… I'll switch to Chrome if necessary though….

  9. Lu Da Says:

    Ok, so why am I still able to use the flock browser?

  10. ruben Says:

    i too am still using the flock browser i only found this page because i couldnt find an upgrade for it..but yeah its way slower than before…9/29/2011

  11. husi007 Says:

    me too still using flock….i love it..

  12. cynthia Says:

    And count me in, I'm still using flock too. Both versions: the Chrome version and the previous version.

  13. Tegan Saunders Says:

    This is quite frustrating because I am just starting to use it and now, its dead. This is so tragic.