If you were starting to feel like Yahoo maybe hadn’t bought enough stuff this week, Surprise! Yahoo has just acquired Rockmelt, the social browsing startup. According to a blog post on Rockmelt’s site, the Rockmelt apps and web product will be shutdown on August 31, 2013. Rockmelt is encouraging their users to export all of their data through each app’s built-in export button before that day comes.
“We’re excited to tell you that Rockmelt has been acquired by Yahoo!.Yahoo! and Rockmelt share a common goal: To help people discover the best content from around the web. In our short four and a half years at Rockmelt, we’ve learned a lot about how you like to browse the web, discover content, and share the great stuff you’ve found. You’ve been right by our sides as we’ve celebrated successes,endured failures, and invented new ways of doing things. You’ve taught us a ton. And we plan to put everything we’ve learned to work at Yahoo!.” Says Eric, Tim, and the Rockmelt Team on the Official Rocketmelt blog.
Rockmelt began its life in 2010 as a browser with a social twist; it was essentially Chromium (the same open source engine that powers Chrome), with all sorts of social sharing stuff built in. You could easily share content with your friends over Twitter and Facebook. Unfortunately for Rockmelt, most people seemed to prefer to share stuff over Twitter and Facebook … over Twitter and Facebook. I actually used it for sometime and the idea was not that bad at all.
In April of 2011, the company shut down the browser to refocus as more of a content-aggregator. Their news app would present popular content from around the web and provide basic browsing functionally; it was sort of a weird mash-up of Flipboard and Digg and a light-weight browser. Alas, they never really found a massive audience — and those who did come, didn’t stay. Of the one million-or-so users who’d tried Rockmelt’s iOS App by June (many months after its launch), only 50% were ever coming back the next day.
No acquisition price was given, though AllThingsD reports that it came in somewhere between $60M and $70M.
Given that Yahoo is already planning to kill off Rockmelt’s wares right out of the gate, it’s safe to say that this one was very much a talent acquisition. (And given that the original blog post announcing the acquisition was quietly co-signed by Adam Cahan, Yahoo’s senior vice president of Mobile, it’s safe to say that it was largely a mobile talent acquisition.)
Yahoo was founded in 1994 by Stanford Ph.D. students David Filo and Jerry Yang. It has since evolved into a major internet brand with search, content verticals, and other web services. Yahoo! Inc. (Yahoo!), incorporated in 1995, is a global Internet brand. To users, the Company provides owned and operated online properties and services (Yahoo! Properties, Offerings, or Owned and Operated sites). Yahoo! also extends its marketing platform and access to Internet users beyond Yahoo! Properties through its distribution network…
Information from TechCrunch was used in this article