Skip to main content

Yahoo snaps up social browser startup Rockmelt

Yahoo has picked up yet another tech startup; the company will acquire social browser Rockmelt and shut down its apps by 31 August.

"Our mission of exploring the Web faster and in a fun way has not changed. We're joining a fantastic team of people where we can have a much bigger impact, and we're thrilled and honored to have the opportunity," Rockmelt said in a blog post.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer confirmed the purchase with a simple "welcome" message on Twitter.

In August 2009, Netscape developer Marc Andreessen put his support behind RockMelt, which went live with a public beta in November 2010. An iPhone version was released in 2011, followed by iPad last year and Android in June.

At launch, founders Eric Vishria and Tim Howes said the company was about "reinventing the browser for the way people use the Web today."

"We think this has changed dramatically from the way people used it just a few short years ago," they said at the time. "But all the browsers available today, although they've gotten a lot faster, are still just about navigating web pages. We built features into the browser to address people's three top browsing behaviors: interacting with friends, consume news and information, and searching."

Vishria and Howes said that "Yahoo and Rockmelt share a common goal: To help people discover the best content from around the Web."

The duo thanked the service's users, whose enthusiasm helped catch the eye of Yahoo. For now, however, it's the end of the road for Rockmelt. Users can export their content via a tile icon across the service. "Your kept items will be exported as bookmarks and the feeds you follow as an OPML file" before a 31 August shutdown.

Yahoo, meanwhile, has been on a buying spree under Mayer's tenure. It recently secured e-commerce Site Lexity, but also purchased personalised recommendation company Jybe, mobile news summary app Summly, to-do list app Astrid, as well as iOS photo editor GhostBird and enterprise conference calling service Rondee.

Its biggest purchase to date, however, has been the $1.1 billion acquisition of Tumblr back in May.