From SI410
Jump to: navigation, search
Rockmelt logo

Rockmelt is a Chromium based web browser with social media features integrated directly in to the browser window[1]. By combining multiple social media sites in one place, users can keep track of many of their social networks and news feeds in one place without the need to visit multiple web pages. The Chromium base gives Rockmelt much of the same functionality as Google Chrome[2]. The browser is available for Windows, Mac OS X, and iOS.


Rockmelt was founded in 2009 by Tim Howes and Eric Vishria, and is backed by Marc Andreessen, the founder of Netscape [3]. The browser was created by RockMelt, Inc., and is now based out of Mountain View, California[4].

RockMelt Browser Name

The name RockMelt was a product of a three-week long brainstorming session. Some names that were thought of possible options were: Fringe, Groove, Take3, Frowser, Blarge, BamBam, Kodiak, Acunda, Avogadro, Wamp, and Yoke. However, these options ended up costing more than they thought. Some were as high as $500,000 for one simple domain name! Because they wanted a name that was both easy to say and spell while also being memorable, they started experimenting with words they liked and wrote them on a whiteboard. They decided that they really like the word "Melt", but because it was a soft word they wanted a strong complement for it. Some options at that point were Diamond, Shark, and Mountain. The team decided that "Rock" was very simplistic and was unregistered. They ended up buying for a total for $12 [5].

After finalizing the name, the RockMelt team wanted a logo that had just the right look and feel. A member of DesignMap, a design company located in San Francisco, did a sketch of the Earth in his notebook and the RockMelt team ended up finalizing the sketch and ultimately used it. [5]


  • November 7, 2010 - RockMelt for PC and Mac launches in private beta
  • March 11, 2011 - RockMelt for PC and Mac launches in open beta [6]
  • April 19, 2011 - RockMelt for iPhone launches[7]
  • October 11, 2012 - RockMelt for iPad launches [8]

Social Media Integration

A screenshot of the Rockmelt browser showing Facebook chat and Twitter

Rockmelt is partnered with Facebook, so a Facebook account is required to use many of the integrated social media features. Facebook friend requests, messages, and notifications are always displayed above the browser bar in the Rockmelt browser window[9].


The right chat panel of the browser window contains a list of the user's Facebook friends. This panel can be set to show only the friends' Facebook profile picture or their picture and name. Online users are represented by a green dot in the lower right corner of their pictures while offline users have a grey dot. When you click on a friend's name, a chat window opens at the bottom of the screen.

News Feed

The left panel contains a list of icons for Rockmelt Apps. When these apps have updates to their respective news feeds, a red box with the number of new posts or articles appears in the upper right corner of the icon. When a user clicks on the icon, a floating window appears on top of the main browser window with the latest post and articles for the app sorted chronologically with the most recent on top[10]. The idea behind this feature is that the user can stay up-to-date with all of their favorite sites or apps and they will be notified whenever an update is posted.


On the far left of the browser window in the same row as the browser bar, there is a "New Post" button which allows users to post a new status to Facebook. Users can also add links and locations to their status. Additionally, to share links directly, users can click the "Share" button that appears to the right of the browser bar. This will post the link to the page the user is currently on as their Facebook status or to the wall of a friend[11].

Additional Features

Rockmelt Browser Bar

Like in Google Chrome, the Rockmelt Browser Bar, also known as the "Social Omnibox[12]," serves as direct access to Google search. When a user begins to type in the box suggested searches and websites will be generated in a drop down menu. However, the "Social Omnibox" also allows users to search their Facebook contacts, open friends' Facebook profile pages, send Facebook Messages, post on friends' Facebook walls and open other Rockmelt Apps[13].

Social Reading

When Social Reading is turned on, other Rockmelt users that are connected to the initial user via Facebook can see what articles or posts the user has read. Reading an article or post is considered clicking the post and opening the link. Social Reading does not post to the user's Facebook or other social networking sites, but does post to the Rockmelt feed that appears in the Rockmelt New Tab page. Social Reading can be turned on and off on an app by app basis, so it is not necessary for a user to share what they read in all of the apps they use[14].

View Later

View Later is the icon in the left panel of the Rockmelt browser that looks like a clock. Users can add articles and posts to View Later by clicking this icon in the app news feed. Users can also add web pages to View Later by clicking the same icon in the browser bar. To remove items from View Later, users can click the clock icon again or go to the View Later news feed and read the items[15].

Quiet Mode

Quiet Mode is a Rockmelt feature that allows users to turn off the social media integration features in the Rockmelt browser window. When activated, Quiet Mode hides both the right and left panels as well as the Facebook friend request, message, and notification section above the browser bar. New notifications for Rockmelt apps are disabled during Quiet Mode. Upon turning off Quiet Mode, notifications will be reactivated and all apps will be updated. Rockmelt markets Quiet mode for times when users need be free from distractions[16].

Rockmelt Apps

The following is a list of all the Rockmelt Apps currently available in categories as they appear on Rockmelt's App Center, where users go to add apps to the left panel of the Rockmelt browser[17].

  • Top Apps: CNN Top Stories, The Onion, TechCrunch, Mashable!, 9Gag, GameSpot, Gmail, Twitter, Gawker, BBC News, Kotaku, Lifehacker, New York Times, Tumblr, ESPN, Cracked, Gizmodo, Funny or Die, Engadget, TMZ, YouTube
  • Celeb Gossip: PopSugar, Gawker, Perez Hilton, Jezebel, Yahoo: Celebrity, People: Latest News, TMZ, Us Weekly: Latest News
  • Culture and Lifestyle: Brain Pickings, Autoblog, Boing Boing, The 99 Percent, Trend Hunter, Contemporist, Dezeen, Laughing Squid, The Art of Manliness, io9, Jalopnik, Lifehacker, Paul Tan's Automotive News, ArchDaily, Cool Hunting, Esquire, Refinery29, Slideshare, TreeHugger, AOL: Lead Stories
  • Fashion: The Sartorialist, We Heart It, Hyperbeast, Lookbook
  • Games: Armor Games, G4 TV, Kotaku, Massively, WoW Insider, 1UP, The Escapist, GameSpot, Joystiq, Nintendo, The Wowhead Blog
  • Geek Culture: Engadget, MacRumors, ThinkGeek, TUAW
  • How to: News, CSS-Tricks, How Stuff Works
  • Humor: 1000 Awesome Things, Clients From Hell, The Daily What, The Art of Trolling, Cracked, Damn! LOL, Dear Girls Above Me, GraphJam, I Can Has Cheezburger, Memebase, Very Demotivational, Damn You Auto Correct!, Fail Blog, The Oatmeal, OMG Facts, The Hairpin, The Onion, Virtual Shackles, Know Your Meme Newsfeed, The Fluffington Post, AmazingSuperPowers, BuzzFeed, CollegeHumor, Dorkly, Funny or Die, Taste of Awesome, Xkcd
  • Industry News: NYT: Dealbook, AllFacebook, Digital Buzz Blog, Xconomy, SEOmoz Daily SEO Blog, paidContent, Search Engine Land, Business Insider, Yahoo: Business, Convince and Convert Blog, Inside Facebook, Social Media Examiner
  • Music: BaebleMusic, DatPiff's Newest Mixtapes, Pretty Much Amazing, Pitchfork, Good Music All Day, Vacay Wave
  • News and Editorial: Al Jazeera-English, BBC News, The Atlantic, FOX News, The Guardian World News, Huffington Post, Reuters, Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, NYT: Paul Krugman, CNET News, Google News, Yahoo: 2012 Elections, Yahoo: Politics, Yahoo: U.S. News, Yahoo: World, NatGeo: News Watch, MSNBC, CNN Top Stories, Fortune, New Zealand Herald, USA Today, The Times of India, Chicago Tribune, Mail Online, Forbes, Financial Times, Inc, Los Angeles Times, NPR News, New Your Times, Politico, Reddit, Slate, StarTribune, The Daily Beast, TheBlaze, Washington Post, The Washington Times
  • Photography and Arts: 500px, PetaPixel, Behance Network Featured Projects, The Big Picture, Society of Digital Artists
  • Shopping: Uncrate, Nice Kicks, Woot!
  • Social: Tumblr, Gmail, Pixable, Digg, Twitter
  • Sports: Bleacher Report, Deadspin, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, Yahoo! Sports, Cricket news from ESPN, Grantland
  • Tech: AllThingsD, TechCrunch, IntoMobile, Neowin, GigaOM, VentureBeat, Gizmodo, Mashable!, Wired: Top Stories, The Next Web, Yahoo: Tech, PandoDaily, PortableApps, Scobleizer, Technologizer, AnandTech, BGR, Digital Trends, eWeek, ReadWriteWeb, Techmeme, Technology Review, The Verge, Tom's Hareware
  • Videos, TV, Entertainment: YouTube, TED Talks, FilmDrunk, IMDb News, TVGuide, Digital Spy, hulu, Tokyohive, TVLine
  • More Apps: RockMelt Blog

Rockmelt for iPad

An example of a Rockmelt mobile newsfeed

The iPad version of Rockmelt was released for iOS on October 11, 2012, however, there is no Android version available yet. The mobile version is a free app that allows users to streamline their different online news and media outlets into one newsfeed that's customizable to the user. Rockmelt mobile also grants users the option to login through their Facebook, Twitter, or email account. By signing into the app through a social media account, users can also integrate their Facebook timeline and twitter feed into the homepage, which further customizes their homepage. [18]


Some reviewers have claimed that Rockmelt attempts to do too much with a browser, and overloads a user with information with its number of RSS and social media application features [19]. The necessity of having a Facebook in order to use the browser has also been cited as a weak point. Additionally, others have claimed it does not distinguish itself from other browser competitors enough to appeal to a wider market [20].


  5. 5.0 5.1

(back to index)