With Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Opera all duking it out for browser market share, some might think the world doesn’t need another Web browser. However, a group of developers led by Tim Howes and Eric Vishria have taken the wraps off of RockMelt, a new Web browser that builds on the notion of a social Web by building Facebook and Twitter directly into the browser. RockMelt will also include integrated sharing tools and an enhanced way to navigate through Google search results via the keyboard to find exactly what you want. Additionally, if you happen to be using a public computer or someone else’s system, no problem: RockMelt is the first browser to be “fully backed by the cloud.” Just run RockMelt, and your personalized browsing experience is waiting for you.
“RockMelt does more than just navigate Web pages,” RockMelt wrote on their just-launched company blog. “It makes it easy for you to do the things you do every single day on the Web: share and keep up with your friends, stay up-to-date on news and information, and search.”
RockMelt also keeps track of users favorite sites, informing users of new posts or updates automatically so users don’t have to constantly check for new posts. Taking it one step further, RockMelt proactively fetches that content so users don’t have to wait for it to download once they notice it’s available. RockMelt also integrates a sharing tool to make it easy to share a page or a link with friends: clicking a Share button next to the browser’s URL field automatically shares the link with Facebook or Twitter, with no fuss. RockMelt also claims to be the first browser “backed by the cloud,” meaning that users can run RockMelt from anywhere, after you log in, you can tap directly into your personalized Web experience. RockMelt also aims to make searching easier my enabling users to flip through Google search results from the keyboard like flipping through a magazine.
RockMelt is available for Mac and Windows (Linux support not available) by invitation only—and, for the moment, interested users can only get an invitation via Facebook. The initial RockMelt release is a beta and has many rough spots, but the developers seem eager for feedback and thoughts on how to enhance the browser. Folks who spend a good portion of their online time using Facebook and Twitter then sharing interesting items with their friends may find a lot to like in RockMelt.
If RockMelt’s features resonate with social Internet users, expect mainstream browsers to quickly take notice…or maybe RockMelt could become a mainstream browser itself.