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Socially oriented RockMelt browser debuts

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Mountain View, Calif.—RockMelt, a new Internet browser and potential advertising channel heavily focused on social media, was officially launched this week.

Spearheaded and funded by Netscape founder Marc Andreessen, the new browser, released in beta, is available via invitation only through Facebook. Facebook members who visit the RockMelt home page, www.rockmelt.com, are asked to request an invitation to use the browser, then are notified that “We'll e-mail your invite in the next few days.”

Users must give RockMelt permission to access their Facebook data. The company has said this information, plus browsing history, will not be sold to advertisers for behaviorally targeted ad campaigns.

In addition to Internet search functions, RockMelt also permits updating on Facebook or posting on Twitter or other services directly from the interface; offers sharing via dragging of pictures, URLs or videos onto “edges” that line the browser's window; and pushes notifications of news or social updates from a user's favorite sites.

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