We’ve seen a substantial amount of coverage about the social browsers Flock and RockMelt (Or “FlockMelt” as I like to call them), but does anybody really use them? We’ve seen Chrome’s popularity soar, and Safari is slowly climbing in numbers as well. Firefox, of course, is nothing to sneeze at in the number two position behind IE. But at this point, we don’t even hear about Opera in these charts — let alone these smaller offerings.
Every time there is a big revision or launch in a niche browser, I download it. I open it, sign into Twitter, and check it’s HTML5 Test score. Then I close it, and I go back to Safari or Chrome. I don’t use them. My non-techie friends and family don’t use them. I don’t even hear people sing their praises. So, my dear readers, why the hell are they still being made, and why are companies pouring resources into them? Are they idiots, or do they know something I don’t?
Now that every major browser has an architecture for extensions, why in the world would anyone want a specialty browser? We have great extensions like Cortex that provide similar functionality in a pre-existing and constantly updated browser. It seems like FlockMelt is serving a pretty small audience, but I’d love to be proved wrong.
If you have any particular insight to this conundrum, please feel free to drop me a comment on this post.