A new web browser called RockMelt which places an emphasis on social media and easy sharing of content has now entered into beta testing, according to an announcement by the RockMelt company.
The browser is based around Google Chromium — the open source version of Google's Chrome browser — which is in turn based on the WebKit source code, used by many mobile and desktop browser vendors, including Apple, RIM, Palm and Google.
By making extensive use of open source APIs, the company has integrated much of the third-party functionality found in other stand-alone apps or software into RockMelt. Doing so brings easier Facebook, Twitter, and other social network integration inside the browser and allows the user to share links, videos or update status messages in one-click, according to the company.
The browser also uses its own URL shortening service — me.lt.
As well as bringing Facebook integration, RockMelt also adds a customisable favourites bar to the right-hand side of the screen which will automatically update and show an on-screen indicator when there's new content on your favourite or most visited sites.
"Wherever you go on the Internet, RockMelt makes the Web a personal experience. Because RockMelt is the first browser you log into, it unlocks your Web experience with your Facebook friends, your feeds, your favourite services, even your bookmarks and preferences," said the company in a blog post announcing the launch.
Like the majority of browsers, RockMelt includes a search box in the top right hand corner of the browser but unlike other implementations it preloads each search result shown in the box to allow for speedier navigation.
Marc Andreessen — the man originally behind the Netscape browser — told ZDNet UK sister-site CNET that the browser has been in development since 2009 and that RockMelt currently employs around 30 people.
Other browsers such as Firefox and Chrome rely on third-party add-ons or plug-ins to enhance functionality, such as social media sharing, while Flock is another browser with integrated social functions.
Applications to join the beta are now being accepted via the beta sign-up page, granting RockMelt access to your Facebook data is mandatory if you wish to join in.