The Facebook Browser?

For all the speculation about Google launching a browser (aka the GBrowser), what about Facebook doing it?

Is it a crazy, far-fetched idea? Maybe, maybe not. Among other things, Facebook wants to establish itself as a platform for other services and applications. In some ways, that sounds a lot like a browser. Facebook is all about getting people to spend lots of time using it, which is what many people do every day using a browser.

So how could Facebook get into the browser biz. Easy: it could snap up Flock with some of its Microsoft cash. Voila, the FBrowser.

Flock? You mean the browser that wants to be all things to all people? The social browser? Yup, that’s the one.

The idea struck after reading Daily Bits’ mixed review of Flock 1.0. This sentence jumped out at me: “The bits of Flock that shine the brightest are the Facebook sidebar and the browser’s integration with online photo storing sites Flickr and Photobucket.”

Interesting. The social browser meets the social network.

What if Facebook bought Flock, got rid of some of its superfluous features such as the blog editor and RSS reader, enhanced other features such as photo-sharing, and then added some Facebook stuff, including a few popular applications?

You have to think a healthy number of the more than 40 million Facebook users would think about migrating. Let’s say it’s two million or five million. That’s a large group of die-hards to launch a browser business.

I can’t believe Flock would cost much – perhaps a few million dollars; something that’s spare change to Facebook these days. It might even be Flock’s salvation, and give it a chance to live up to the huge hype it once had.

Update: Rick Segal weighs in with some thoughts on Facebook, including the “redefinition” of the word “friend” – something I recently blogged about here. Meanwhile, TechCrunch reports that Facebook is attracting scores of smart Google employees. Maybe some of them have been people working on the GBrowser, who will now focus on the FBrowser.

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