Chromium-based social browser RockMelt launched in private beta last November but is now ready to unleash the social networking love on the general public.
RockMelt is the brainchild of Netscape founder Marc Andreesen and is a social browser built around Facebook, Twitter and a multitude of other realtime feeds which integrate fully with your web browsing experience. When it launched, the only way to download the beta version was by getting an invite to do so. In the months since launch, it has been downloaded less than a million times and has “a few hundred thousand active users” according to CEO of RockMelt, Eric Vishria.
Similar to Google’s Chrome browser, RockMelt is built on top of Chromium and users can even take advantage of Chrome Apps from the Chrome Web Store. What sets RockMelt apart from other browsers is the presence of panels on the right and left with Facebook updates and online indicators, RSS feeds and Twitter feeds – all of which are customisable. Many users find the ability to use services such as Facebook chat directly while surfing the web as a huge advantage. Others claim RockMelt is simply Chrome with extensions that you have to use.
Some stats from the testing period show that between 20 and 30 percent of users who tried RockMelt are still active users, in that they use it at least once every seven days. The average RockMelt user has the browser open for six hours a day, suggesting people using computers for their work are the primary users. They interact with the Facebook panel three times a day, but interact with the feeds and apps on the right hand side 2.5 times every hour.
You can download the browser from RockMelt’s site and with the whole world able to download it now, we will see if it can really challenge the likes of Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer for online domination. Have you been trying RockMelt? If so let us know what you think in the comments.