RSS is a very powerful web feed format that many of us have come to rely upon. While many think of it as a delivery system for news links, the concept of other types of media being delivered via RSS has been tossed around many times. Now, Flock, a browser based upon Firefox, will be incorporating Media RSS feeds into their browser. The browser itself can use RSS as a mechanism to deliver new images and video from a variety of sources, using the Media RSS standard. Media RSS has been used in other projects before, though not many, and Flock will be the first browser to do such.
The media integration doesn't stop at images and video. They also are coupling Facebook and MySpace integration, letting people easily “share” things they discover with people in their social networks. You can read the full press release after the jump.
This new use of RSS is different than Google's recent introduction of RSS feeds for search terms, but in the same category of expanding what RSS is. I like the ideas all around, and hope they get expanded further. It's easy to speculate that RSS or a similar technique could be used to deliver all content on the web.
FLOCK 2.0 IS FIRST BROWSER TO PROVIDE AUTOMATIC IMAGE AND VIDEO FEEDS TO 400 MILLION SOCIAL APPLICATION USERS
MySpace Members Can Now Instantly Discover and Share Their Relationships and Content Throughout the Web
Redwood City, California – October 15, 2008 – Flock, the social web browser, today announced the delivery of a new version of the Flock browser. Flock 2.0 is the first browser to allow 400 million social application users to automatically receive image and video feeds. The company also announced integration with the MySpace Data Availability platform, which empowers users to take their social experiences across the web into other social networking, media sharing, web mail, news, and blog sites.
Flock allows its users to easily discover and share information and communications from applications such as Twitter, Digg, Gmail, YouTube – and now for the first time, MySpace. Flock does this by automatically delivering people, content, activities, and media that are relevant to its users, directly via the browser.
As the number of social media, webmail, feeds and blogs that any one person uses increases, so has the level of social application fatigue and information overload. The desire to receive up-to-the-minute information combined with the growing number of ‘always open’ applications has driven the design of Flock 2.0.
“As the browser market and the social space mature we’re seeing a natural evolution toward better options for consumers,” said Shawn Hardin, CEO of Flock. “Many users now belong to two or more social networks in addition to juggling multiple email, news feeds and numerous web-based applications. People who value keeping up with friends on the Web are migrating to Flock, because we let them cut through the clutter and focus on what’s important to them—the friends, media, information and events they care about.”
With the newly announced Media RSS capability, Flock becomes the first browser to automatically deliver image and video feeds to users even if they don’t belong to the most popular social networks. By simply clicking on the media stream icon next to Flock’s URL bar, the user can select from available streams and easily subscribe to them by ‘favoriting’ them in Flock’s Media Bar. Images from that source will automatically be downloaded into the Flock user’s MyWorld page and made accessible for easy viewing in the Media Bar. These images can then be dragged and dropped into profiles in the People Sidebar to instantly send them to friends, or they can be easily integrated into a blog post.
Flock 2.0 is the only browser that offers simple sharing and communication between MySpace and other socially driven applications. Flock 2.0:
· Lets MySpace users introduce friends with one click via the Flock People Sidebar.
· Lets MySpace users keep in touch with their social network friends and read what they’re doing and saying on Flock’s easy to see and track People Sidebar.
· Makes Photos and videos easily accessible in the Media Bar. This makes it faster for MySpace users to scroll through friends’ photos, while also sharing and commenting on videos, songs and images.
· Lets them drag and drop photos, articles, videos—anything they want to share—directly onto a friend’s profile, into an email or directly into their blog. Or users can save cool things they’ve found in their Flock Web Clipboard to send later.
· Brings all of the people, content and media feeds users care about into one place via the user’s MyWorld page. And Flock lets them easily track, update and organize feeds.
· Lets bloggers quickly and easily drag content from multiple sources into the Flock Blog Editor, and publish on the fly from anywhere on the web.
“The MySpace integration in Flock is a great example of an application that helps users stay connected with their life on MySpace and easily share content with their friends throughout the Web,” said Max Engel, product lead for the MySpace Data Availability Platform. “Flock’s integration with the MySpace Data Availability Platform helps users take advantage of robust functionality in the browser to enrich users’ social experiences.”
Flock 2.0 incorporates the latest Firefox 3.0 enhancements around performance, security, and privacy. Flock also supports 24 of the most popular web mail, social applications and tools by bringing them one step closer to the user and integrating them directly into the browser.
Flock By The Numbers
From the time Flock began shipping in November 2007 there have been over a quarter billion social actions taken in the Flock browser. Through anonymous feature usage tracking those social actions include:
· Over 30,000,000 log-ins across Flock’s integrated web applications.
· 150,000,000 friends are loaded into the People Sidebar each month
· 10,000,000 media streams have been loaded in Flock’s Media Bar
· 6,000,000 photos and videos have been accessed in the Media Bar
· Over 5,500,000 photos have been uploaded
· 13,000,000 feeds have been accessed via Flock's Feeds Sidebar
· Close to 1,000,000 blog posts have published using Flock’s blog editor
Flock also announced that over 70% of their users use Flock as their primary browser. Satisfaction rates are over 90% and over 75% of users recommend Flock to their friends. Flock users come from 165 countries and territories, including Vatican City. Flock is available in 18 languages. Approximately 50% of Flock’s users are outside of the U.S.
Flock delivers the only browser designed to enhance the active online social user’s experience and liberate them from the complexities of managing multiple social networks, web mail, media, news feeds and blogs. With Flock, they can instantly discover, enjoy and share the relationships and content they are passionate about. In 2008, Flock received the Webby Award for social networking, the SXSW Community Award and was listed #6 in PC World’s 100 Best Products of 2008. Flock was founded in 2005. Flock is free to download and use at http://www.flock.com.