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Yahoo acquires social browser company Rockmelt, killing all apps in less than a month

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Rockmelt promo image (Credit: Rockmelt)
Rockmelt promo image (Credit: Rockmelt)

Yahoo is acquiring social web browsing company Rockmelt, the two companies announced today. But the move seems to be bad news for current Rockmelt users, as the company's four apps (iPhone, iPad, Android, and Windows 8) will be summarily shut down in less than a month — August 31st. Rockmelt is giving users until then to export their data. Not surprisingly, the company also isn't accepting any new users as of today. But it did praise users for sticking with it through ups and downs, saying: "You’ve taught us a ton. And we plan to put everything we’ve learned to work at Yahoo!."

Rockmelt is a startup best known for introducing a much-hyped "social" web browser back in 2010, which integrated a user's Facebook friends and content right alongside all the web pages they visited. But after failing to gain as many users as it hoped, it pulled the plug on the browser project just a few months ago and said it would be refocusing on its mobile apps, which took a Flipboard-like approach to showing users' social media content. For Yahoo, which AllThingsD says purchased Rockmelt for a reported $60 to $70 million, the company is but the latest in a growing pile of startups acquired under the reign of CEO Marissa Mayer. And coming in the wake of Yahoo's billion-dollar-plus buy of Tumblr in May, it's clear she's eager to reinvent the purple-hued '90s internet giant as a social media force for today.