Flock browser fails to fly at Zynga

From the ‘Bad Ideas’ files:

I’ve never been a fan of Flock, the ‘social’ web browser. Personally, I’ve long argued that Flock is little more than an overlay.

At first Flock was an overlay of social add-ons to Firefox, then it moved to Chrome.

Now it’s moving to the graveyard of bad ideas.

Zynga acquired Flock at the beginning of this year. What was the point of acquiring Flock to only shut it down 100 days later?

“Support for Flock browsers will be discontinued as of April 26th,
2011,” The Flock site states. “We would like to thank our loyal users around the world for their
support, and we encourage the Flock community to migrate in the coming
weeks to one of the recommended web browsers.”

So wait, why is Flock being shut down?

“The Flock team joined Zynga in January, 2011 and is
now working to assist Zynga in achieving their goal of building the
most fun, social games available to anyone, anytime — on any platform,” a Flock FAQ states.

So does that mean we should expect a Farmville browser? I don’t know, this doesn’t make sense to me. Sure I never though Flock had a sustainable future, but why do you buy a company only to kill its only product.

Now the talent behind Flock, certainly can be used to build other great stuff, but couldn’t you just hire those people?

The conspiracy theorist in me sees this almost as some kind of money laundering effort to help Flock’s investor get an Exit. I personally don’t doubt that Flock would have failed, eventually. It didn’t have much of a revenue model. Chrome moves too fast and oh yeah, it now has a direct competitor with RockMelt (another browser doomed to fail) too.

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