RockMelt, the new modified Chrome browser launched last Sunday, is what happens when social media collides with your everyday internet use. RockMelt is currently very much in beta, and also invite-only. To download and try RockMelt you will need to ask for an invite from someone who already has access to the browser. Luckily, I tweeted (read: whined) enough that someone sent me an invite. So far I am impressed with the concept. This is not to say RockMelt is perfect – it isn’t. There are occasional bugs, and the developers have left me with a wishlist of things I hope will be eventually integrated.
However, RockMelt is a start – especially for those who do not live or work with multiple monitors, or even need multiple platforms to manage their social (media) lives. RockMelt currently integrates all of your Facebook friends and your Twitter feed – as well as other social media feeds – into the sidebars of the browser, so you can read and share updates within the browser’s edges – without having to open up a single window. Before RockMelt, you would need to either use the actual Facebook or Twitter platform – or use something like Tweetdeck to manage multiple feeds. For those using a single monitor set-up or operating with something more mobile – such as a laptop or netbook – not having to switch between applications is always ideal.
Not having to even open a window to communicate is also a novel concept, so I congratulate the guy or girl who really thought of this first. The way the social media platforms are utilized is where my wishlist for more thoughtful development starts. For example, I love the way chat has been developed, but many of us have multiple chat accounts and use programs like Adium to stream them. The chat feature in RockMelt is very comprehensive, but just for Facebook chat, so I’m curious if the developers plan to integrate other chat apps into the edge and continue to eradicate our need to switch between other apps to communicate and share socially.
I’m also curious to see how RockMelt, which is a modification of Google’s Chrome browser, integrates other Google products in the futre. If RockMelt can develop Gmail into the edge as well, they may have a huge advantage over other leading browsers – especially since, as a modification of Chrome, the Chrome extensions and settings are seamlessly available and applied.
Only four days since launch, I already like what RockMelt can do; especially when I don’t have the luxury of staring at Tweetdeck on a side monitor and need to access my social media platforms from the same screen that I do the rest of my work within. RockMelt is still buggy, as evidenced by the disappearance of Twitter lists in the latest upgrade. I also wish Growl notifications could be customized so I didn’t receive updates for every single post/tweet in my feed (it’s a shame I had to turn them off entirely.) However, at it’s most basic points and purposes, RockMelt has succeeded at something no one else has done so far.
Will I keep using it? Yes – considering how active I am on Facebook, and Twitter, RockMelt will be a much easier and faster way to use social media and share what I’m doing. The real question is – will you use RockMelt too?