REVIEW: RockMelt Browser Rocks Your Browsing and Social Media Experience


UPDATE: I have some invites for RockMelt. If you’re interested in an invite leave a comment so I know who you are and friend me on facebook (I believe you have to be connected on Facebook to share invites for now so don’t forget that step), I will send out as many invites as I can.

Click for full-sized image

In the words of RockMelt, “the rumors are true”. Starting yesterday the much anticipated and seriously hyped “social-browser” was released in a private beta.

Similar to how Gmail was originally released RockMelt is giving invites to people who already have it so they can invite their friends to start using it. You only get a limited number of invites but if someone you invite downloads RockMelt they give you another one which is pretty handy.

Check out some screencaps from RockMelt:

[nggallery id=15]

RockMelt is built using Chromium, the open source project which Chrome is built on. If you’re a regular Chrome user then switching to RockMelt is pretty seamless. It’s sort of like Chrome on social media steroids.

With RockMelt we’ve re-thought the user experience because a browser can and should be about more than simply navigating Web pages.  Today, the browser connects you to your world. Why not build your world right into your browser?

Your friends are important to you, so we built them in. Now you’re able to chat, share that piano-playing-cat video everyone’s going to love, or just see what your friends are up to, regardless of what site you’re on. Your favorite sites are important to you, so we built them in too. Now you can access them from anywhere, without leaving the page you’re on. And RockMelt will tell you when something new happens.

Share or tweet links often? Yeah, us too. No more wading through each site’s goofy share widget or copy-pasting URLs. We built sharing directly into the browser, right next to the URL bar. Like a site or story? Click “Share” and BAM – link shared. You can use it on any site to post to Facebook or tweet about it on Twitter. It’s  just one click away. That easy.

RockMelt makes it extremely easy to update your status to any of your networks without having to navigate away from wherever you happen to be when you decide to share it and, without a doubt, they do it better than any plugin I’ve ever used that tried to replicate that feature.

RM uses small, unobtrusive sidebars, which they call “edges” that give you instant access to all of your friends and social networks at once. You have the option to show or hide one or both of the edges to completely customize your experience.

Another fantastic thing about RockMelt being built on Chromium is that you can use and install Google Chrome extensions and completely rock out your RockMelt install. It’s worked fine with all of the extensions I’ve tried so far.

This may not be the most popular thing to say, but so far, RockMelt really seems like Flock done right. Flock had some good ideas regarding integrating social media into your browsing experience but from the beginning it seemed plagued by complaints of general slowness and using a lot of CPU resources.

These of course could turn out to be famous last words but I have to say I’m extremely impressed with the first beta release of RockMelt and may even venture to say that this could be the social browser we’ve all been waiting for.

Click after the jump to watch a quick, two minute video on some of RockMelt’s features.

httpvhd://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAPKPhoTqFY&feature=player_embedded

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14 thoughts on “REVIEW: RockMelt Browser Rocks Your Browsing and Social Media Experience

  1. I’d like to give it a try…. (drew@mach1group.com)

    But it seems to me that new browsers have always suffered for the simple reason of failing to get the word out to the masses. Even Google’s own Chrome. I still get blank looks from people when I mention it.
    If RockMelt can perform reasonably well, that should be an issue that the browser itself conquers.

    Reply
    • Drew, friend me on Facebook, it seems sharing with your friends is the way they’re going right now. http://facebook.com/jamespoling.

      I agree with your comments about new browsers. I’m still shocked when I see statistics of how many people still use IE, it’s such a horrible user experience.

      I think the fact that RockMelt is built with Chromium will help a lot as Chrome is continuing to see significant growth in it’s browser share. Plus it helps that by using Chrome it’s fast as hell.

      Let me know when you add me as a friend on facebook and I’ll get the invite.

      Reply
      • Just sent the request.

        Performance doesn’t seem to matter as much to browser users. It’s not as apparent to them. So name and word of mouth (and convenience) are what matters in the game. Cornering the social network angle might give RockMelt the upper hand (for now.)

      • Performance matters to the early adopters and they’re the ones who are ultimately going to be helping get the word out if it’s successful.

        P.S. As soon as you show up in my friend’s list on RockMelt I’ll send out your invite.

      • Apparently the @RockMelt sidebar doesn’t recognize new friends very quickly. But I’m getting the invites out as soon as they’re recognized as friends.

  2. Drew, friend me on Facebook, it seems sharing with your friends is the way they’re going right now. http://facebook.com/jamespoling.

    I agree with your comments about new browsers. I’m still shocked when I see statistics of how many people still use IE, it’s such a horrible user experience.

    I think the fact that RockMelt is built with Chromium will help a lot as Chrome is continuing to see significant growth in it’s browser share. Plus it helps that by using Chrome it’s fast as hell.

    Let me know when you add me as a friend on facebook and I’ll get the invite.

    Reply

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