Yahoo has targeted social browsing tool Rockmelt in its latest acquisition, a move that bolsters both its product base and its lineup of dedicated engineering personell.
Rockmelt originally formed with an eye toward including social media in search results. The system was built using the open source Chromium as its foundation, and apparently the Rockmelt team had a hard time maintaining it. Early in 2013, Rockmelt the browser was turned off, and Rockmelt for Web debuted.
With the Yahoo buy, now even that is getting shut down, a message on the Rockmelt website read. Integrating the technology into Yahoo search could certainly be interesting, so this could actually bear watching. Of the almost two dozen buys made by Yahoo during the Marissa Mayer era, this one ranks near the top. Over the past month, Yahoo has bought up a series of small outfits that won't likely turn into much product wise, but that could have been more about bringing in talent.
The Rockmelt team claims to have pioneered things like signing into the browser, chatting with friends and sharing to social networks directly from within the browser. Of course, these are all common features in browsers like Firefox and Chrome, so if the team can bring something innovative to Yahoo like that, this will have proved a quality pickup.
Is This Smart Spending?
During Yahoo's Q2 earnings call, CEO Mayer said the company would focus on its core business and on smart spending. She didn't necessarily emphasize the spending part, but from all the action this summer, it certainly would have made sense for her to do that.
As for that core business, Yahoo's price per ad was down in Q2 as was number of ads sold. To be fair, Google also suffered from lower ad prices, but it's a much bigger company, and still growing at a decent clip. With Rockmelt being a search related item, perhaps Yahoo is planning on pairing it with its recently refurbished search app.
Yahoo bought news app Summly early in 2013 and rolled that technology into its search app. That could be just the home for Rockmelt's technology as well. Rockmelt for the Web will close permanently at the end of August 2013, and current users can export their bookmarks and feeds as OPML files for migration.