Is RockMelt becoming the Facebook browser?

For those of you not familiar with RockMelt it is billed as the “social browser” that is built on top of the same core browser as Google’s Chrome web browser. It’s early days were pretty rocky even though it got a lot of good early press from the tech blogosphere but over the last few iterations it has centered more around the Facebook experience than just a general “social web browser” experience.

With the new Beta 3 version released today that Facebook integration is carried even farther with direct involvement with Facebook to create an improved Facebook experience from within RockMelt.

This design refinement has progressed to the point that when the browser detects that you are on Facebook.com the user interface of RockMelt will remove certain features from the website and display them as an integral part of the browser itself.

Sarah Perez at ReadWriteWeb has a great breakdown of what new features have been added to the new version but here is a listing of what has been added

  • Brand New Friend Edge
  • Expandable View with names and favorite status
  • Scrollable Friend Edge
  • Swappable Friend Edge and App Edge
  • Friend search in Friend Edge
  • Chat status can now be changed to online / offline even easier
  • Option to hide offline friends
  • Improved context menu when right-clicking friends
  • Unified View of Friends: Favorite Friends and Other Friends now shown together
  • Drag-and-drop to remove or add friends to Favorites
  • Confirm and reject Friend Requests added
  • View and reply to Messages added
  • See Notifications and the associated item of interest (status updates, links, or photos)
  • Universal chat experience from RockMelt – no more duplicate chat windows and friend lists
  • Initiating chats on Facebook.com will open chats in RockMelt
  • Universal Friend Requests, Messages and Notifications right in RockMelt – no more duplicates on Facebook.com
  • New Facebook App with Photo Album Viewer
  • Quick access to your own Facebook Profile
  • Better Chat with Previous chat history now shown when chatting with friends, improved notification when chats are received and a simplified chat window

One has to wonder though, given Facebook’s penchant for “owning” the user experience how long it will be before they take this partnership to the final step and buy RockMelt and make it an official Facebook browser.

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