Flock Refresh Trumps RockMelt - InformationWeek

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12/9/2010
07:37 PM
Jim Rapoza
Jim Rapoza
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Flock Refresh Trumps RockMelt

The RockMelt social browser launch got tons of attention, but the Flock Web browser has been integrating with social networks for years and the latest version showcases several advantages over RockMelt.

Flock Browses All Your Social Connections
(click image for larger view)
Slideshow: Flock Browses All Your Social Connections

RockMelt was released in beta in November with the claim that it would bring social networking into the browser. But Flock has been a social networking oriented browser for years now and a new version shows where Flock has several advantages over RockMelt.

To a certain degree, Flock predates social networking. When it was first introduced five years ago, the company referred to their eponymous product as "The Web 2.0 Browser."

But over time, Flock has done a good job keeping up with changes in collaboration and social networking. With the newest release, Flock 3.5, the browser showcases a much broader support for social networking tools than the much newer RockMelt beta.

While for most of its life Flock was based on the Firefox browser engine, earlier this year the browser was reconfigured to run on the Chromium engine that powers Google Chrome (and RockMelt as well). From a usability and speed standpoint, this has been an improvement. But it definitely causes some problems when it comes to figuring out how to use Flock.

Probably the biggest problem right is that none of the guides, FAQs, or support pages on flock.com have been updated with information for the new Chromium based browser. In some cases, the information on the site is flat out wrong and won't work. It's been months since the first release based on the Chromium engine and Flock needs to get this information updated.

But if you can run the browser without need for support, Flock offers some nice features for social networking. First off, Flock 3.5 has built in support for Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr, and does a good job handling RSS feeds.

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