Feeds

Web2.0rhea browser axed

Flock user distraught

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Flock, the browser with built-in Web2.0rhea, is to be discontinued. The project burned through $30m of capital investment, a rather expensive way of acquiring 9 million non-paying users, and became an early emblem of slack-jawed social networking hype.

Flock received enormous coverage when it was unveiled in 2005, including this toe-curling extended profile on BBC TV. Paul Mason might have joined the social networking bubble two years after everybody else, but he made up for lost time with enthusiasm.

"I am not predicting Flock will wipe Microsoft Internet Explorer off the world's desktops, but the browser it is built on, Firefox, already has a 10% market share," he wrote.

In the end, and despite the popularity of social networks, hardly anyone saw any value in a social-networking browser. The indiscriminate attention paid to Flock also created its own backlash. One site, Go Flock Yourself, described its business plan as follows:

Raise a bunch of capital in order to hire old people for pennies on the dollar. Use this vast, untapped resource in order to 'develop' a browser that consists of an amalgamation of buzzwords (and other useless garbage) and code stolen from pre-existing projects. Shortly after the product comes out of 'stealth-mode', appear at many different conventions in order to hype it even further and then wait for a fool with a hundred million dollars to buy us out.

Chris Messina (pictured) quite wisely jumped ship a few months after launch. He now works for Google and as a marketing consultant.

Farmville developer Zynga, which has over 1,000 employees, acquired the Flock team in January, but will cease development on 26 April. It may continue as an open source project – if anybody's interested.®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.