RockMelt Takes On Mobile Social Networking

RockMelt is releasing an iPhone version of its social networking-centered browser, catering to increasingly social-focused mobile device users.

The browser pushes social media updates and favorite web pages forward, rather than waiting for input from the user, allowing users to see automatic updates without having to separately check each site.

As the first browser to require people to sign in with Facebook, highlighting its central focus on social networking, the app features a “read this page later” function and can sync cached pages with a desktop browser.

Social networking is becoming an on-the-go activity in general, accessed by users on phones and tablets. Roughly half of Facebook’s users access the site on a mobile device, while Twitter saw similar numbers last year.

Hoping to ride that trend, RockMelt lets Twitter users easily access URLs while keeping the tweet in view, a feature useful for reading and posting on the go. The app also makes it easy to access Facebook by using existing passwords rather than creating a whole new account.

RockMelt makes Facebook a core component, bringing even more users to the social networking giant. Depending on how RockMelt is set up, the arrangement could give Facebook a new view into what users are doing on other social media and regular Web sites.

The browser joins a host of other smartphone-centered social networking efforts, including “Color,” a mobile social networking platform, highlighting the growing momentum of social networking’s shift to mobile devices.

RockMelt is waiting on approval from Apple. An Android version is also set to arrive soon.

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