updated 07:00 pm EST, Sat January 8, 2011
Company to focus on gaming, future uncertain
On the eve of Flock's sixth anniversary,CEO Sean Hardin has announced in a blog post on the company's website that the Flock team will be going to work for the social gaming company Zynga, leaving the future of the multi-platform browser uncertain. The web browser, now based on Webkit and Chromium, integrates a social-media sidebar into the browser directly so that users can keep up with posts, statuses, comments and timelines while browsing other web sites.
Flock supports being logged into and updating Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Blogger, LinkedIn, Myspace, YouTube, RSS feeds and other services while browsing, and was among the first to integrate the idea of instantly sharing photos, articles and videos via drag-and-drop from the browser to the sidebar. The browser won early praise back in its beta days for its history-searching feature; later editions added more search capabilities, including pulling up related blog and social-site posts regarding any topic being searched on in addition to a standard Google search.
Hardin's announcement does not make clear the future of the company, which has offices in Menlo Park, CA as well as Victoria BC, or the browser. Hardin promises more announcements about the company's products later this month, and directs inquiries to the company's "Get Satisfaction" based support forum. The company claims over 10 million Flock users, but Hardin says the development team will now "help Zynga in achieving their goal of building the most fun, social games available to anyone, anytime – on any platform."
Flock first appeared in 2005 as an outgrowth of, and based on, the Mozilla web engine. Supported by venture funding and winning several design awards since emerging from beta, the browser has gone through several major iterations, most recently switching to a Chromium base this past June.