RockMelt is neither a Flintstones-themed sandwich nor Guitar Hero on acid—it’s the newest web browser. RockMelt released its beta version today, with the angle that it’s the most personalized browser experience available.
RockMelt Is Social
RockMelt (available HERE) considers itself to be a social browser. To begin, the user logs into her Facebook account, and the window’s left-hand margin becomes a personalized map of available Facebook contacts. The right margin emphasizes Twitter, and the user can immediately share her current website through either platform with a “share” button. If we had been asked what the average user does with a web browser, we probably would have answered “browse the web.” But, according to co-founder Tim Howes, we’re wrong:
At RockMelt we are reinventing the browser for the way people use the Web today," said Howes. "We think this has changed dramatically from the way people used it just a few short years ago. But all the browsers available today, although they've gotten a lot faster, are still just about navigating web pages. We built features into the browser to address people's three top browsing behaviors: interacting with friends, consume news and information, and searching.
It’s Fast, Too
RockMelt is built using Chromium technology, the same base as Google Chrome, the current forerunner in speed and ingenuity. What this means for us, who can’t necessarily build a web page or debate the virtues of every browser available, is that it’s fast. Pages load when your search results appear, so the user skips loading time for each individual page.
When we heard that RockMelt would require our Facebook information, we were a bit worried. (Didn’t anyone else balk?) But the founders are quick to reassure us, via PC Mag:
We're not running ad networks, so we're not trying to target users in any way. We're not storing personal information about users and what they do. We anonymize info about what users are doing for the sole purpose of making RockMelt better. We never record info about users, what they're doing online, searches they're doing, anything like that.
Very comforting, but the statement begets another question: If RockMelt isn’t targeting ads, how will it make money? We weren’t the first to wonder. The founders answered PC World’s inquiries about money by insisting that the search feature would be the most lucrative feature of their invention, but that right now they’re focusing on building a user base.
Tell us in the comments: Why do you use your usual browser?
Image Credit: ZDNet