Zynga To Acquire Social Web Browser Flock - InformationWeek

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1/6/2011
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Zynga To Acquire Social Web Browser Flock

Deal marks the game developer's eighth purchase in eight months.

Flock Browses All Your Social Connections
(click image for larger view)
Slideshow: Flock Browses All Your Social Connections
Zynga on Thursday announced it is buying six-year-old social Web browser Flock, marking the online game developer's eighth acquisition in as many months.

"Our team will help Zynga in achieving their goal of building the most fun, social games available to anyone, anytime -- on any platform," said Shawn Hardin, Flock CEO, in a company blog. "Flock's dedication to its products and users allowed us to achieve over 10 million users around the world with two products on the Facebook top 10 list of the most popular desktop apps. We thank our users for their unwavering support and dedication, and we're thrilled to be going to a platform that shares our passion for combining great user experience and technology."

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In addition to gaining access to Flock's social Web browser technology, Zynga also has an entree into Flock's respected pool of engineering talent. In fact, Google and Twitter also were bidding on Flock, in part because of the company's skill set, according to TechCrunch.

Zynga is no stranger to acquisitions. In December, the company purchased Newtoy, developer of the Scrabble-like Words With Friends. Zynga also added XPD, Challenge Games, Unoh Games, Conduit Labs, Dextrose AG, and Bonfire Studios. More than 215 million active users monthly play Zynga's games, the company said.

In November, Flock took the wraps off a Chromium 7-based version of its browser for Windows and Macintosh. Prior iterations were based on Firefox.

"We're seeing great overall growth in users and engagement, including 57 million new activities conducted within new Flock per day, and over 4 billion activities over the last four months," Hardin said at that time. "Our growth is 100% user-powered: 83% of our users say they have already recommended or intend to recommend the new Flock browser to their friends and family."

Late last year, new competitor RockMelt entered the social Web fray with its eponymous offering. Backed by Mosaic and Netscape web pioneer Marc Andreessen (Andreessen Horowitz is an investor in Zynga), RockMelt also is built on Google's Chromium OS.

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