The latest beta of Flock’s “social browser” is out now and I thought I’d give it a look this week. I’ve checked it out in the past but generally been pretty underwhelmed… In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever written about it before. However, this latest version is based on Chromium which is the same code running Google’s Chrome browser and I’m rather bull’ish on Chrome.
Here’s the pitch:
Flock is faster, simpler, and more friendly. Literally. It’s the only sleek, modern web browser with the built-in ability to keep you up-to-date with your Facebook andTwitter friends.
The install is simple, as is the initial startup experience. I created a flock account (seemed to be necessary to use the social features) and then pointed it towards my Twitter and Facebook accounts. The browser started and I have this nifty little sidebar on the lift that has all the activity from both services mixed in.
Using the browser is, for the most part, just like using Google Chrome with slightly different fonts and colors. Basically, this seems like another Chromium port with a sidebar so I looked a little closer at the sidebar.
I don’t love it.
OK, I don’t hate it, but it is missing a few features that really bug me.
- No Twitter Groups support. The Flock sidebar does support groups and offers some really cool features. But. No access to your pre-existing twitter groups
- No Facebook comments. Yes, you see Facebook status updates from your friends, but you don’t see any comments or “likes” that might be on those updates. You have to click them (one by one) to see if anyone commented. Ugh.
Odd design decision? The twitter stream shows everything, including replies where you don’t know both parties. Old school! I’m on the fence if that’s good or bad.
If you really like Chrome and want some social integration, then give Flock 2.0 beta a look – unless you’re big into setting up Twitter groups! I’m going to hold off for now and see what subsequent betas bring to the table. Perhaps there’s more to come that will make me a bit more excited to switch over.