My thoughts on RockMelt the social browser

The newest web browser on the internet is making quite a headline today. RockMelt dubbed the ‘social browser’ is now out as beta but already it has drawn some lukewarm response from tech pundits the world over.

ComputerWorld says that it has a tough uphill climb if it were to make a space for itself in the browser market that is already crowded. But what exactly is RockMelt?

For starters, it’s based on Chromium, the same technology behind Google Chrome. It’s main selling point is the built-in social networking features: seamless integration mainly with your Facebook and Twitter account.

You can chat with friends on Facebook, share links, pages and images directly to your wall or network while browsing. The same set of functionalities work with your Twitter account.

But this is not something totally new, Flock, also a Chromium-based browser was the first browser to sport this capabilities. Flock may not be gaining much traction compared to the big boys – IE, Firefox, Chrome and Safari but it has a steady user-base of 9 million.

Though I consider my self as an early adopter, I just can’t see myself switching to RockMelt nor even downloading the Beta for the sake of hands-on testing.

Here are a few reasons:

I love Chrome and it’s my default browser now and in the years to come. One of the major reasons I switched from Firefox is to remove the bloatware and the annoyance/distraction that comes with all the plugins and add-ons I once used.

From what I’ve seen in the video above, I foresee myself being less able to write because of the distraction and information overload that is inevitable with RockMelt.

Besides, both Firefox and Chrome has enough plugins/add-ons to give the same built-in social networking features offered by RockMelt as demonstrated in Lifehacker.

But actually, I don’t use Chrome extensions for social networking that much. As Ubuntu already comes with a host of stand-alone social networking apps like Gwibber and Empathy.

I’m not saying stay ‘away from RockMelt’

Of course all these seemingly negative things about RockMelt are biased towards my browsing preferences and workflow as a geek/blogger.

For non-geeks who are really hooked to Facebook and Twitter RockMelt could provide the one-stop solution to staying connected to your network even if Facebook is not open in a tab or window.

With over 500 million Facebook users, RockMelt definitely has tons of opportunity. The question now is, would it go the same way of Flock and just be on the sidelines of the browser market? Would enough users and early-adopters jump on board and lay the foundations for a solid user-base before the leading browsers offer the same built-in social networking integration?

And how about you, would you switch to RockMelt or just take it for a spin?

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2 thoughts on “My thoughts on RockMelt the social browser

    • Yeah, it sort of makes it a \’desktop client\’ for Facebook. I guess the browser is really meant for heavy-FB users who would care-less or is unaware of the security concerns.

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