Skyfire Launches "Facebook Edition" for Android
Skyfire, the innovative mobile browser maker that’s known for its dexterity with Flash video, is launching an upgrade to its Android app today focused on social sharing. Set to become available at 9 am PT in the Android Market, the company calls its 3.0 version “Skyfire Facebook edition.”
Making browsers social is a hot project these days. The Facebook-framed RockMelt browser, made by and backed by some of the people responsible for Netscape, launched to much fanfare earlier this month. However, it seems to me completely crazy that someone could launch a “social browser” in this day and age without a mobile component.
Skyfire helps fill that mobile-social gap with some nifty uses of the Facebook API. There are two notable new buttons in the browser, which are prominently displayed despite the small size of a mobile screen.
First, users can click from any Web page to see global popular Facebook Likes for that domain. So in the example portrayed in this demo video, you can see all the recent articles on the New York Times ranked by how much they are being shared by people on Facebook. This is similar to what many companies are doing around analyzing links shared on Twitter (for instance, I wrote about Gravity last week), but it’s rarer to see global analysis of Facebook. A spokesperson for Skyfire said this is based on public Facebook APIs, not a deeper partnership like what Bing has for its social search.
The other new Skyfire button is called “Fireplace,” and it’s a custom newsfeed for any user with only status updates from friends who included shared links. This is somewhat similar to what folks like Flipboard are doing, but without the fancy design. Fireplace breaks out a simple list of what your friends are reading and sharing so you can quickly flip through what they think is interesting.
The Skyfire Facebook edition also includes integration with Twitter and Amazon.