After having been available in private beta since November 2010, RockMelt, the social web browser, has finally launched its next phase of public beta testing. Available for both Mac and Windows users, you can now download the public beta without having to wait for a coveted invite from a friend.
Similar to Flock, RockMelt is a browser that targets the die-hard social media addict by integrating Twitter and Facebook directly into your browsing experience. It doesn’t end there as you can easily integrate other sites that you use on a daily basis including Tumblr, YouTube and Google Reader. Aside from it’s social media features, RockMelt also includes basic features found in other browsers, such as hitting the tab key to search from the address bar.
As far as Facebook integration is concerned, RockMelt automatically logs you into Facebook chat, with your contact list featured subtly on the left hand side of your browser. There you can see which contacts are online and which are idle. You can also selectively add Facebook friends to your favorites, and toggle the view of your contact list to show your favorite friends only.
On the right hand side of the browser you can access all of the apps and feeds that you have added to the browser.
There are two separate Facebook tabs on the right hand side. In one, you can see your friends’ latest posts and update your Facebook status. Interaction with your friends on Facebook include the ability to like and comment on their updates. When your feed is updated, or you have any new notifications, a small badge will appear over the Facebook icon with the number of updates. The second tab features all of your Facebook notifications, and new notifications are visible through a badge with a mouse over the icon.
When chatting with friends, a new window will open up. You are notified of new chat messages with sound notifications as well as badges on the contact’s image in your contact list.
Like with Facebook, adding Twitter to RockMelt will allow you to keep up with your Twitter feed from a convenient window accessible from your apps and feeds list on the right hand side of the browser. With the Twitter feed, you can toggle a sidebar open and closed to reveal links to your replies, direct messages, tweets, retweets and lists.
You can tweet, reply to tweets and retweet them, using Twitter’s native Retweet method.
You can even share a link from Twitter directly on your Facebook wall.
As far as content is concerned, photos and videos are displayed embedded within your feed.
If you want to add multiple Twitter accounts, you can do so by clicking on the settings button in your Twitter feed.
An interesting RockMelt Twitter feature is the ability to search your timeline for keywords, which is a nice novelty feature. The more significant and more useful feature of searching Twitter is, unfortunately, not a feature included in RockMelt’s mini-client.
Some drawbacks we noticed to using Twitter on RockMelt is that to view a user’s profile you have to open it on the website, and if you want to retweet and add your own text to the tweet, you’ll have to copy and paste the original tweet.
RockMelt takes things one step further, making it easy not only to access information directly from your favorite sites, but also making it easy to share content as well. The ‘Share’ button next to the address bar allows you to share links quickly as you are viewing them, directly to your added apps such as Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.
Have you downloaded RockMelt? Would you be willing to switch from your preferred browser to RockMelt?