After a long run, some will be quick to say too long, the first internet browser branded as being social will see an end to support on the 26th of April.
Flock, once heralded as the game changer has changed no games, and has lost much of its initial thrust, with the many additional items which can be added to almost any other browser, giving all the benefits, and allowing many other benefits developed for browsers increasing their usefulness in other ways.
The original Flock was built using the code of Mozilla, and was Firefox with a few additions allowing the proclamation of the birth of social browsing. That was just 6 years ago yesterday. A long time in internet time, but a very short life for anything else.
Many will blame the demise of the browser on the switch to the Chromium code last summer, and while that may have stalled any improvements in the social aspects of the browser, it certainly made worthwhile improvements in all other areas, so overall, most would consider it a wash.
The actual change to Chromium code likely did nothing but help the browser last a bit longer, as the ease of coding extensions, and the capacious extension vault no doubt made many users very happy, as they were able to add on without the extreme slowing of the browser that is the signature of the Firefox codebase.
The development of Rockmelt, by Marc Andreessen, may also have pushed the Flock product to the side, as the higher profile of any Andreessen project would lead to lots of viewings of the Rockmelt initial offering, and subsequent updates.
In the end, we may never really know why it is that Flock, as a continuing project, will cease to exist on the 26th of this month. The page where one would go to download the product does not even offer that choice any longer, instead telling those looking, to choose either the newest Firefox or Chrome browsers, for the fact that they will continue to be supported.
While the concern for the user’s online safety is touching, it is very odd that the browser is not still able to be easily downloaded, and makes this writer wonder how many unplugged problems might have just been discovered, with no manpower to adapt code, or to bring the code up to snuff for the short term.
Unless I have gotten my time lines wrong, I believe this makes Flock the very shortest browser, in terms of overall lifespan, which may be something that, in and of itself, will assure its mark in the internet history accounts.
The FAQ gives some interesting answers to questions many will no doubt ask.