The rumors continue to circulate that Facebook are looking to buy the Opera browser as part of their plans to expand outside the social networking site.
The purchase of Opera would give Facebook a quick way to modify the software to suit their own interface design, to target their 900 million Facebook users. Opera is a highly respected browser, but has been facing a tough market against Google Chrome and Firefox.
Pocket Lint first sourced the rumour last week saying that Facebook are ‘looking to buy Opera Software’, leaving the source as anonymous but ‘trusted’. Other sites have yet to confirm the potential buyout, although The Next Web have added that Opera management are talking to potential partners regarding the sale of their software.
Opera makes the most sense for Facebook because three of the top five are tied into operating systems. Internet Explorer for Windows. Safari with OSx and Google Chrome with ChromeOS. Computerworld.nz add “It’s hard to believe that Mozilla would sell Firefox to Facebook, a company that has reaped billions from a self-contained ecosystem.”
Opera only accounts for 1.6 percent of the world’s browser use now according to a report from Net Applications. Safari, in 4th place demands three times the user base of Opera.
Opera are also losing ground in the mobile sector with Opera Mini. Their share of the mobile space is only 12 percent in April, half of their total last year. Much of this decline is said to be linked to Apple Safari, the standard browser for the iPhone and iPad.
A Facebook takeover could certainly drive the adoption rate, especially if the Facebook team manage to create a custom version of the browser, just for their 900 million user base.
Kitguru says: Opera takeover imminent? A good move?