An innovative new product has entered the scene that will likely test the resolve of Facebook and others as it relates to data portability. RockMelt (www.rockmelt.com) is a customized implementation of the open source (Google) Chrome browser that tightly integrates social media while maintaining the comfort (and speed) of the Chrome browsing environment. It is so tight in fact that Facebook is likely trying to figure out what to do with this revolutionary – and potentially dangerous (to them) – new thing. You see, RockMelt gives you much of the experience of being inside of Facebook without actually being there – including no Facebook ads — all thanks to Facebook’s data portability capabilities. In many cases the RockMelt browser does Facebook BETTER than Facebook.
Of course if Facebook looks at all of this with an open mind, they will realize that RockMelt has “officially” made Facebook the center of the social communications universe – and FB’s data portability initiatives are powering an increasingly expanding wave (sorry Google, no pun intended) that solidifies that position. The question remains whether Facebook will embrace this direction and take it even further or feel threatened and seek to crush that which it does not control. I for one wouldn’t be surprised if the RockMelt browser became the Facebook browser…
Regardless of the result, it is the innovative use of data portability that sparked this particular seed of innovation.
–Steve Repetti, vice-chair DataPortability, CEO/CTO www.radwebtech.com