Home Future of Browsers: Interview with Flock’s Geoffrey Arone

Future of Browsers: Interview with Flock’s Geoffrey Arone

Today I interviewed Geoffrey Arone, the co-founder of social Web browser Flock.com. Flock recently released its official beta,
which they call version 0.7. They’re currently positioning their product as a mainstream
browser which enables people to share and create online. Flock is specifically targeting
people who use social networking media tools like MySpace and YouTube.

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The interview [20 mins, 9.7MB] kicks off a new series on my ZDNet blog, called Browsers 2.0. In
that series I’ll be exploring 2006-era browsers and seeing what is available in the
browser market – and what’s coming soon with the likes of IE7 and Firefox 2.0.

What interests me most about Flock these days is its goal to become one of the big
browsers. Geoffrey said they’re planning to go-live (out of beta) in October this year
and he is confident that Flock can become a big player in what is a very tough market. He

“If we continue to respond to what our users are telling us and get out there and
partner with the right folks, absolutely we will be [mainstream]. I want us to become
increasingly part of the dialog of: what option do I have to participate online.”

Also Geoffrey is sometimes reluctant to call Flock a browser, because “it’s a passive
term”. He said “the way our user testing is showing people interacting with Flock, it’s
anything but passive.”

I mentioned that a lot of Web apps these days are becoming cross-platform and
cross-device, so does he think the browser will morph into something different – in other
words, where is the browser in general headed? Geoffrey replied:

“I view the browser as a vehicle for creating your online identity. So people are
increasingly going towards mobile and to some extent the living room. Right now it’s
certainly not in our short-term plans. But I do see the browser as being the primary
interface to your life online.”

Check out the whole audio interview, because we delve into some of those broader
browser issues a lot more. Geoffrey said that my questions were the best he’s had
in any interview about Flock (which is a nice compliment!).

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