A Forrester Research analyst suggests Marc Andreessen's RockMelt browser could open up new advertising opportunities for Facebook. RockMelt could resemble the Flock social Web browser, helping users toggle back and forth between Facebook, other Web services and the broader Web. However, a Gartner analyst is skeptical about whether the majority of the world's Facebook users need a Facebook-focused browser.
One analyst has said she believes RockMelt, the Web
serial entrepreneur Marc Andreessen and his engineering colleagues
are developing for world-beating social network Facebook, could bring new
revenue opportunities for Facebook and its long tail of application developers.
Little is known about RockMelt, although New York Times suggested the browser would store Facebook user names
to let users
interact with their Facebook friends while they're surfing the Web.
Forrester Research analyst Sheri McLeish said RockMelt could help users
toggle back and forth between Facebook, other Web services and the broader Web,
keeping users on Facebook as long as possible. That would open up greater online
advertising opportunities for Facebook, and could help Facebook's application
developers find the broader audience they seek.
"Facebook, along with Twitter, haven't established a way to monetize
the popularity of their tools, so I would imagine the browser could open up
advertising revenue or other opportunities to charge vendors, resellers or
someone else in order to get real estate on the site," McLeish told eWEEK.
"There's so many people looking at these sites that it's a shame not to
make money off of that. The influence of peer recommendation is huge on
For an idea of what else RockMelt could include, it might be wise to look at
a social Web browser based on the open-source Mozilla Firefox browser
that streams status updates from Facebook, Twitter and 20 other Web services.
Interestingly, Andreessen, who entered the limelight with the Netscape browser
and is now a director on Facebook's board, is an investor in Flock.
In a screenshot published by ReadWriteWeb, RockMelt invites users
to, "Connect the RockMelt browser to
Facebook to interact with your friends, share updates and media, and view your
That synopsis alone sounds an awful lot like Flock. TechCrunch's Erick Schonfeld published
a wish list of features RockMelt might
include to entice users, including one-button access to sharing of Web services
and launching them from the Web browser.
A Flock spokesperson confirmed to eWEEK that Flock already provides these
features, and is working on the Google Gears support.