Social browser Flock runs out of friends

Social game maker Zynga acquired social Web browser Flock at the beginning of the year. What’s it doing now? Shutting it down as of April 26th. Instead, the Flock team will be put to work “to assist Zynga in achieving their goal of building the most fun, social games available to anyone, anytime—on any platform.”

Flock logo

Social browser Flock started off based on the Mozilla engine underlying Firefox, with the express purpose of integrating social media tools directly into a desktop Web browser and making it simple for users to share online content with friends via social networks, as well as chat and receive status updates in real time. However, although Flock-like features and add-ons eventually began appearing in mainstream browsers—and Flock itself transitioned to Google’s Chromium codebase last year—Flock never developed significant resonance with mainstream users. And, perhaps more importantly, Flock was never able to establish a significant revenue model. Sure, it’s one thing to build a social browser, but someone has to pay the bills for development.

Flock’s developers say the browser will no longer be actively maintained, meaning there will be no new features or security updates. The browser will continue to function, although its sync and social networking capabilities will shut down on April 26th, rendering much like other non-social browsers out there. Flock is recommending users transition to Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox; a FAQ is available for users who want to transition their favorites and feeds to a new browser.

Folks looking for a browser with built-in social networking features could also consider newcomer Rockmelt, another browser built on Google Chromium that debuted at the end of 2010.