Is RockMelt’s Social Browser Revolutionary?


rockmeltADOTAS – Though the name makes me want to eat a hot tuna and cheddar sandwich while blasting Led Zeppelin, RockMelt could be on the verge of a browsing revolution. With a lot of Silicon Valley investor muscle behind it, including Netscape creator Marc Andreessen, the company launched its browser on Monday that directly incorporates social media functions from Facebook and Twitter into the navigation controls.

Created on Chromium, the open-source project behind Google Chrome, the browser offers sidebars for quick access to friends social media outlets’ on the left. In addition, the Facebook and Twitter feeds can be viewed while browsing thanks to a tab on the right, which updates from popular content sources. Sharing is ridiculously easy:

Even more impressive is a search window pulls down to show results and previews within your browser window — it’s what Google has been promising with page previews except it’s built in the browser. The video also suggests that search results can be personalized to an extreme — an apartment listing featured a note saying “Too rich for you.”

It doesn’t matter whether RockMelt actually catches on — soon enough we’ll see social media tools incorporated in Firefox and Internet Explorer. (I doubt Google’s Chrome will adopt such features because it prides itself on being stripped down and walling-off applications.) RockMelt told the always paranoid Wall Street Journal that it will not make revenue through selling ads, but adoption of the browser and and its social functions have great consequences for the online ad industry.

First off, for social media advertising, getting in the stream will become even more important — Twitter has picked a prime time to update Promoted Tweets. If more browsers incorporate social tools, display ads on social networks will become even more worthless — the stream will be the best place to market.

And paid search may be absolutely screwed if previews within search boxes become common practice, while SEO will remain as important as ever.

What’s your take on RockMelt? Clever toy or browser revolution? I’ve already put in a request take it for a spin…



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