May 25, 2012 12:01 pm
According to sources at Pocket-lint, Facebook is looking to purchase Norwegian browser makers Opera Software for an undisclosed (but likely sizeable) sum. The appeal is obvious: as Facebook moves to expand its presence not just on its main site, but across the entire internet, Opera would be a relatively easy and powerful gateway to embedding more users into its growing ecosystem.
Not only has Facebook made itself essential and ubiquitous across other services — apps such as Spotify and Deezer require a Facebook login to sign up — but its influence is being felt by old-school news outlets who encourage readers to “like” articles and share on their Timelines. By purchasing Opera, it could integrate Facebook features into the most widely-used mobile browser on the market (Opera Mini), expand its smartphone browser penetration (Opera Mobile) and create a Facebook-branded version of the little-used desktop version. Opera already supports extensions and is considered one of the fastest desktop browsers on the market, though competitors like Chrome and Internet Explorer are far more popular.
Opera recently released versions of its browser for the iPad, iPhone and Android, and it is still very popular on Symbian. There are roughly 200 million people using Opera on a daily basis.