RockMelt- The New Social Browser

There has been a lot of buzz recently on the web regarding the release of a new browser. While there are usually several new browser releases each year, this one is by Marc Andreesen, who is well known for co-founding the wildly successful and first mainstream browser Netscape. With Marc Andreesen's name behind the latest browser, many are interested in knowing whether this idea is another game-changing piece of technology.

RockMelt differentiates itself from other browsers by being a "Social Browser". Currently in Beta, RockMelt is a light and efficient browser built on Google's open source Chromium code. You may already know or use Google's Chrome browser, RockMelt uses the same technology to make surfing the web quick, easy and painless. However, in addition to a standard browser configuration, RockMelt has the added capability of making it effortless for users to connect and share with social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and others.

RockMelt does look visually different than other browsers, besides the normal browser configuration one will find the important innovation called "edges". On both sides of the browser, you will find a toolbar looking device going vertically along the edges as seen in the screenshot below:

On the left hand side you are able to easily view and monitor the actions of friends on sites such as Facebook. In fact in order to use RockMelt, once you load it, you must first log into your Facebook account. On the right hand side you will see that you can easily monitor RSS feeds along with other apps.

RockMelt has made it easy to communicate with friends using the edge on the left. Simply click on a person's avatar and a window will pop up within the browser where one can post a message to that person's wall or simply chat. In addition, you can also drag and drop urls, pics, etc into this window making sharing media with others easy. RockMelt also alerts the user to who is available and who is not. Besides communicating with others, updating your own status requires simply clicking your own avatar

The windows used in RockMelt are layered and are actually very efficient at maximizing the desktop real estate. This is also true about search, using RockMelt, one will find at the top of the browser screen two boxes for URL navigation and for search queries. By entering search terms in the URL/Address navigation box, you can literally search through Google's search results without having to visit the site itself. RockMelt supports integrated search previews as shown below to the right.

All in all, RockMelt is pretty intuitive and easy to use; however it does have its downsides. First off, there is currently no version for mobile browsing, meaning that RockMelt is strictly a desktop browser. While a quality browser, I don't think that the innovation of its edges will make this browser's acceptance expand more than a niche group. Secondly, while fairly new and it should be noted still in beta, there have been quite a lot of issues accessing and posting to Facebook. Meaning, that while RockMelt may offer the ability to access social networks, it might currently be too buggy to offer users efficiency at this time.

Regarding SEO and SEM professionals, RockMelt, while a quality browser with promise looks to be currently a niche product used by hardcore social network users. Obviously still in beta, it might be fun or interesting to use this tool, but serious interest should wait until this browser comes out of beta and major issues are corrected. As for what many of the new users thought about this browser; I found plenty of comments on various review sites. Many commented positively and liked the edges, but many did have issues connecting to their favorite social network sites and using the browser to its full potential. I also read a lot of comments that while RockMelt seemed like a novel idea, the ability to reach out to friends and family and the constant updating of RSS feeds being shown on their desktop became quite distracting and a time-killer.

RockMelt is currently available by invitation only. Please visit to receive access.

About the author

Roger Janik is the President and Founder of – The Web Marketers.
He began working as a professional web designer and web marketer in 2001, holds a BA in Communications from UHCL and sits on the marketing committee of the Houston BBB. In addition Roger is a frequent guest on Houston FOX News and CBS Talk Radio discussing the current trends in website marketing and social media. He founded ServerSideDesign in 2004 and has established his company as a leading provider for Search Engine Marketing Services in Houston, TX. as well as on a global scale.


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