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February 27 2014


January 01 2014

Google To Close Bump And Flock, Its Recently Acquired File Sharing Apps
Bump HandsBump and Flock, the file sharing apps Google acquired last fall, will be shut down by the end of this month. Both apps will stop working and be removed from Google Play and the App Store on January 31, Bump confirmed on its blog today.
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September 16 2013

Bump Mobile Contact Sharing App Acquired By Google, Will Stay Alive For Now
After raising nearly $20 million and becoming one of the most downloaded mobile apps but never finding real revenue, Bump Technologies has been acquired by Google. Its namesake app Bump lets you physically tap phones together to share contact info and more, and it will stay available for download. Congratulations might not be the right word, but Bump could have a bright future at the Googleplex.

July 26 2012

Bump’s New App Flock Creates Shared Photo Albums With Friends Without Interrupting Your Life
Flock App Feature
Photos save our memories, yet fumbling to upload them can cut those moments short. But Flock lets you snap and forget, and then later collects photos from you and friends you were with into privately shared albums. Flock for iOS combines brilliant social design with the underutilized photo location API to simplify sharing. Instead of clumsily selecting privacy settings, it suggests you share with any of your Facebook friends who use Flock and also took photos at the same time and place. Flock is the new app from the makers of Bump. Alongside Pay With Square, it could lead a movement of apps that we don't have to remember to use, but instead just magically take care of us.

January 06 2011


Zynga To Acquire Flock, The Social Browser That You Never Used

Zynga is acquiring Flock, a beleaguered startup founded in 2005 by Bart Decrem and Geoffrey Arone, we’ve confirmed. The deal should be announced shortly.

The company has raised nearly $30 million in venture capital, although the last round was closed in 2008. We do not know the terms of the acquisition. Both Google and Twitter were also bidding for Flock, we’ve heard from one source – perhaps to get Flock’s engineering talent, which is very highly regarded.

Flock first launched it’s social browser in 2005, and we wrote about it in August of that year. At the time, prior to Twitter and the rise of Facebook, “social” meant writing blogs and social bookmarking, and not much else. Flock was not a hit.

It struggled over the years, eventually switching from using from Mozilla to Chromium as its core. But usage was never realy there. And now they have a well-backed competitor in a market that’s never been proven to exist.

This is Zynga’s eighth acquisition in as many months: XPD in Beijing (May), Challenge Games in Austin (June), Unoh Games in Tokyo (August), Conduit Labs in Boston (August), Dextrose AG in Frankfurt (September), Bonfire Studios in Dallas (October) and Newtoy Inc. in McKinney, Texas (December). Lots of acquisitions, and lots of hiring.

Tags: TC Flock Zynga

June 16 2010


Flock Switches From Mozilla To Chromium For New Browser, But Is That Enough?

Flock, the social Web browser company, has released a new and completely different version of its desktop browser client after nearly a year of silence. The news comes about a week after Apple released Safari 5 and around the same time Opera launched a beta version of its upcoming Opera 10.60 browser.

In a perhaps surprising twist, Flock is moving away from Mozilla technology after 6 years and making the switch to Chromium. Google will also become the default search engine.

Note: it’s only available for Windows today – a Mac version will be available later this summer.

As a former user and fan, I’ve been pondering doing a post on Flock to question its whole reason for being but hadn’t gotten around to it yet. This release gives me the perfect excuse to ask the big question: is Flock fast becoming immensely irrelevant?

When Flock got started (and funded), it was easy to defend the need for a Web browser that incorporated tons of functionalities that catered to a new breed of online services and applications (remember Web 2.0?) and their power users. Personally, I loved it, despite the annoying persistent bugs and crash issues that would eventually make me switch to Mozilla Firefox (now replaced with Google Chrome).

Back then, the Web was just the Web, and users of social networks weren’t as plentiful and demanding as they are today. The Web has now turned into the Social, Realtime Web, and that is a trend that will likely continue to manifest in the coming years.

So now that there’s this proliferation in potent social Web services, applications and increasingly, browser extensions, that enable users to communicate and share with other people using whatever browser they prefer, is there really a need for a product like Flock?

Don’t think they’re not asking themselves that very question. Read Flock VP of Engineering Clayton Stark’s blog post on the switch to Chromium, and you’ll notice they aren’t blind for the issues at hand. He writes (among many other things):

After all, the social Web isn’t bleeding edge any longer. It’s pretty much everyone.

And he’s right. And I fear that what makes Flock still unique today (integrated social search, the ability to create Groups that let you ‘channel surf’ the Web, extensive sharing options, and so on) may not be enough to make its userbase grow much larger than it already is.

I will download and install the new version, and I’ll try it, and I’ll do a review if time permits (check CNET if you want one now). But even if I fall completely in love with it, the $28.3 million question still remains: is Flock increasingly becoming a solution in search of a problem?

(Thanks to Atul for the heads up)

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