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RockMelt browser integrates social features, gracefully (images)

New browser makes the Web more social, without getting in your face about it.

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Rafe Needleman
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1 of 7 Rafe Needleman/CNET

RockMelt's social features stay out of the way

Extra features in the new RockMelt browser, backed by Mosaic developer Marc Andreessen, are hidden in the browser frame. Two "wings" to the left and right of the page show who's online (left) and what's new (right). Share buttons and a new search feature are at the top.

For more, see RockMelt browser is social, but not obnoxiously so.

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2 of 7 Rafe Needleman/CNET

Friends line up at left

The left-hand wing shows you which of your Facebook friends are online. You can read updates or start chats with them from here. You can also filter the list to just a few people you want to see in RockMelt, which remains in beta.

For more, see RockMelt browser is social, but not obnoxiously so.

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3 of 7 Rafe Needleman/CNET

Feeds on the right

Your social feeds, RSS feeds, and plug-ins park on the right wing. The Twitter and Facebook modules, for example, sit here on the right. You can see all updates or just your own messages.

For more, see RockMelt browser is social, but not obnoxiously so.

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4 of 7 Rafe Needleman/CNET

If Facebook had its way...

There's a "share" button on the top of the page for pushing content out to Facebook or Twitter. One could assume it would become "like" if Facebook gets directly involved.

For more, see RockMelt browser is social, but not obnoxiously so.

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5 of 7 Rafe Needleman/CNET

RockMelt's hidden gem: Search

The extra search feature (beyond the search built into the address bar) is very strong. It lets you fly through search results quickly. An "open in new tab" button appears in highlighted results and lets you pop pages into background tabs.

For more, see RockMelt browser is social, but not obnoxiously so.

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6 of 7 Rafe Needleman/CNET

RSS done lightly

The RSS reader in the RockMelt makes it easy to subscribe to pages, and to see feeds from your favorites. It's not as fully-developed as the search result viewer, though.

For more, see RockMelt browser is social, but not obnoxiously so.

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7 of 7 Rafe Needleman/CNET

Special invitations

You have to be invited by a RockMelt user to get the beta. But as soon as you sign up for the program with your Facebook ID, all your Facebook friends who use the browser will see that you're waiting to get into the club. Any one of them can invite you.

For more, see RockMelt browser is social, but not obnoxiously so.

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