Rockmelt Is Shutting Down Their Social Browser

Rockmelt is company that was founded in 2009 that focused on building a browser with a heavy focus on social networking.  Rockmelt struggled to compete against larger browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Apple Safari.

“Distributing a desktop browser is hard and expensive (especially if you don’t have an operating system or the world’s most trafficked website to promote it)” stated Rockmelt on their blog.  “We knew that when we started. What we didn’t know was how much time we’d spend keeping up with Chromium (the open source foundation of Chrome, upon which Rockmelt is based). What started out as 10% of our time soon became 50%–taking away cycles we needed to spend doing the innovative stuff that made us different.”

Existing users will be able to access the private beta of Rockmelt’s new website that will allow users to monitor content feeds on the web.

The original Rockmelt browser had a buddy list of online friends to chat with on the left and right edges.  There was also a stack of icons for your favorite websites and social networks displaying counters for how many times they that updated since your last visit.  This way you did not have to manually check your Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks.

As of October 2012, Rockmelt had around 4 million registrations.  The company launched Rockmelt for the iPad and iPhone.  Their apps shows a grid of visual tiles based on social updates in a way that Pinterest displays content.

Rockmelt raised over $39 million in funding from First Round Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Khosla Ventures, SV Angel, Accel Partners, Ron Conway, Bill Campbell, and Diane Green.

Below is what the new Rockmelt browser in a video created by the folks at TechCrunch:

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