All platforms: Based on the open source Firefox code base, social web browser Flock adds heavy integration into popular social and media web sites to your regular web surfing. We haven’t mentioned Flock in ages, but the recent 1.2 release is worth another look. Much like Digsby bakes social networking into your instant messenger, Flock offers easy access to your favourite social services built into the browser. Let’s take a closer look at what you get with Flock.
Setting up shop with Flock is straightforward: after the initial installation process it asks for the basics, like whether or not you’d like to set Flock as your default browser, and which bookmarks you’d like to import. From there, as you use the browser it continues configure itself to enhance your experience. Every time you log into a supported web service it offers to activate the support for it in Flock.
Wondering if Flock supports a social networking service you can’t live without? Digg, Pownce, Twitter, Gmail, AOL Mail, Yahoo Mail, Picasa, Photobucket, Piczo, Flickr, Facebook, YouTube, Blogger, WordPress, Live Journal, Blogsome, Typepad, Xanga, Del.icio.us, and Magnolia are all on Flock’s supported servicer roster. Move quickly between your accounts using the accounts and services sidebar.
Found a link that you want to email to a friend or submit to Digg? Address bar buttons allow for one click access to both your email account and Digg.
If a site you’re visiting has an RSS feed available, the RSS icon in the address bar will glow orange to show you the feed is available. Hit the button for one-click subscription to either the in-browser feedreader or an external newsreader like Google Reader or Feed Demon.
If the prospect of switching from Firefox to Flock has you worried about leaving behind your most-loved extensions behind, fear not. According to the Flock web site, most Firefox extensions will work just fine, and they even offer a variety of verified Flock-compatible add-ons on their site. During my testing, four popular extensions we’ve covered here at Lifehacker—Adblock Plus, DownThemAll!, Foxmarks, Greasemonkey, and PicLens—all installed directly from Mozilla Add-ons and ran in Flock flawlessly.
Users and casual browsers of media sites like Flickr, Photobucket, YouTube, etc. can benefit from Flock’s media bar feature. The media bar lets users quickly search, share, and upload media to popular sites.
Flock also comes with built-in blog editor. The editor currently works with Blogger, Blogsome, WordPress, LiveJournal, Typepad, and Xanga and features a WSIWYG style interface with a handy drag and drop feature for inserting media. For bloggers that host their own blogs there is a wizard for setting up a self-hosted blog (which then gets integrated along with all the other supported sites into the Flock browsing flow.)
Built on the solid framework of Firefox, Flock offers quite a spread of goodies for hyper-connected users who spend time collaborating, sharing, submitting, and browsing social media sites. But does Flock have what it takes to lure you away from your primary browser to give it a whirl? Let’s hear about your experiences with Flock in the comments.