The following is taken from seleniumhq. org:
If you want to create quick bug reproduction scripts, create scripts to aid in automation-aided exploratory testing
Then you want to use Selenium IDE; a Firefox add-on that will do simple record-and-playback of interactions with the browser.
First, I have not heard yet of a company that uses Selenium IDE for test automation.
So when we talk about its popularity, are we referring to its users or companies that use it? If companies do not use it for automation, why bother spending any time with it?
Still, why is it popular among manual testers?
It is popular because
1. It is easy to learn
You need about 1 hour to understand how it works. What can compare with that? Learning the basics of Java may take months so Selenium IDE must be better, right?
2. It gives you results fast