With the private beta scrapped because of P2P leaks of the Flock installer, the bird team decided to step-up and drop a public beta into everybody’s laps. Their Flock homepage is full of disclaimers, but that didn’t stop some people from raining on their parade:
Unfortunately, the product really isn’t ready for prime time use. […] Flock is horribly slow – at least on OS X – and worse, the feature set is really really confusing. Firefox, even when it was a 0.x release, was ten times more mature. Maybe that’s why it hit 100M downloads – it works! […] My suggestion is to keep it simple, guys. Give me something that makes my life easier, not harder. So thumbs down for now, but I will give it another look when you ship.
— Steve Rubel
I’ve only used it for a little while, but I definitely noticed the speed lags. Safari is my primary browser, and for me to make the switch to Flock, it will have to be faster than Safari is — a tall task indeed.
Many were anxious to take a look at the product, and were even willing to overlook a sloppy demo at the Web 2.0 conference. Flock started life as Round Two with a focus on security extensions but quickly changed its game to being a social browser. What it means is that the browser integrates social apps like del.icio.us, Flickr, RSS readers and blogging tool. On paper, this makes absolute sense, but then reality and concepts rarely have much in common. So what does the world at large generally think of this? The early verdict is that there is no verdict. […] Maybe I will get used to Flock later (UI is pretty nice), but for now I find scratching my head, wondering if this will ever be my permanent browser.
— Om Malik
I have to confess, however, that Iâ€™ve messed with it and been largely unimpressed. It is nowhere near as feature-rich as my preferred browsing tool, Maxthon, and the only interesting distinct feature, integrated blog posting, consistently screwed up commas and quotes when posting to this site. While Iâ€™m not convinced Flock is a pure raise-VC-money ploy, as some cynics think, Iâ€™m also not very excited by what Iâ€™ve seen.
And donâ€™t get me started, even, about the little fake applications that launch before the actual browser launches. Something appears in the Dock, starts bouncing, then disappears. Something else appears, then immediately disappears. Then, nothing happens. Just as you start thinking â€œmaybe it crashedâ€, the actual program starts running. Whatâ€™s up with this? […] Thus, harsh as it may be, my judgement after just four minutes of using this piece of software is: it sucks. And I donâ€™t expect it to suck much else in version 1.0 either.
— Soeren Kuklau
Flock did a good job at sticking to the basic structure of a browser and basically looks like a beautified Firefox, but with extra features. The buttons on the navigation bar has the basic back, forward, refresh, and home button. But you also get a few new buttons such as a button to open the blog editor, the favorites manager, and the star button to star a site. […] The blog editor actually surprised me on what can be accomplished with it. […]
— Brian Benzinger
Flock PR Tastes Del.icio.us!
One of the things that Brian mentions later in the post is that when you first open Flock is syncs your favorites to your del.icio.us account somewhat automatically. If you have tried Flock, you see that the browser adds a few extra favorites by default which include the Flock homepage as well as the Five Ways To Get Started page. Nothing out of the ordinary yet…
…except it adds Flock links to your favorites and then syncs with delicious, which has made Flock links #1 and #2 at the delicious popular links page. So basically, the Flockers have hijacked the popular rankings at the most popular social bookmarking site in the entire world because of bad code. Or was it bad code? Did they plan on doing this so they could tip the leaning tower of buzz over a bit more? Regardless of the reasoning, that’s just bad form. I suggest waking your employees up and getting this fixed ASAP before your reputation is FUBAR.