Rumor: Facebook To Buy Opera Software To Join Browser Wars

Martin Brinkmann
May 25, 2012
Updated • Jan 4, 2018
Companies, Facebook, Opera

Okay take this with some skepticism as there is no official confirmation about this yet, and the only source for the article is an unnamed one. According to web magazine Pocket-Lint, Facebook is considering buying the Norwegian company Opera Software, which developers the Opera web browser for various platforms.

Opera Software, which had a very strong q1 financially is known for the Opera desktop browser, one the two major browsers that is not backed by a multi-billion Dollar company (the other is Mozilla), the mobile versions of the browser. Recently, the company has also made further investments in the advertisement space, improving the impressions served to 86 billion in the first quarter of 2012.

A Facebook owned Opera browser would provide Facebook with additional revenue possibilities, and save it from creating a browser of their own. And Opera's experience in the mobile market could improve Facebook's presence here, both app-wise but also advertising-wise.

For Opera it could mean additional manpower and development funds to develop the browsers in a faster pace.

It is the users that may have issues with the acquisition, if the rumor should turn out to be true, considering that a Facebook browser would certainly make some changes that the devoted community may not be pleased with at all. One change could be the tight integration with Facebook, another that certain features of the browser may be modified or retired completely to streamline it further.

So how realistic is the rumor? Opera Software is a public company with a revenue of about 160 million in the last four quarters. It is definitely a possibility that Facebook would make an offer for the company if it is really interested in getting into the browser market. It is actually the only company with a market share of more than 1% that is available at all, as the top 4 remaining companies are owned by Microsoft, Apple, Google and Mozilla, who all would not even think of selling their browser to Facebook.

For now I'd say it is unlikely that Facebook will buy Opera Software, and the main reason for that is that the source has not been mentioned. For all I know, this could be some form of link-baiting. What is your take?


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  1. kalmly said on May 27, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    That would be the end of Opera for me. I’m running out of browsers. Here’s hoping someone jumps in and fills the gap.

  2. Terry said on May 27, 2012 at 11:40 am

    I am an Opera fan that will be dumping it if Facebook takes over.

  3. Dean said on May 26, 2012 at 9:15 am

    Wow, do I really want to admit to having a FB account here?

    Can I just say a few things here: FB is a company… it’s not evil, no more so than Microsoft, Apple, Google, IBM or any other tech company of that size; they are there to make a profit, and while you don’t pay for it directly, the only way to make profit is to advertise. To advertise you need to do something better than just mass adverts to everyone; you need to target.

    As for this “Get some real fiends”… please; that’s BS. Yes, there are lots of people that do have 1000’s of friends, what I’d call acquaintances, at best. But, please, do not tar everyone with the same brush… I have 53 friends on there. And yes they are very much real.

    Some people use FB to keep in touch with people they otherwise couldn’t. Winds me up when people are happy to generalise so easily.

    Anyway, onto the browser; I can see why FB would want their own browser; much easier to track and advertise to people, hence increase revenue… you can’t slate them for wanting to do this. It’s not like they don’t tell you they’re doing it; everyone signs up to FB knowing how they make money.

    Do I want them to do it? No. I think it’ll ruin Opera. I’d quite happily uninstall if they bought it out. That doesn’t make it a bad idea though. I don’t think FB are going for the desktop community… they want the mobile side I think.

  4. Glen said on May 26, 2012 at 5:54 am

    Facebook can burn in Hell. My opinion of Facebook is: if you want friends, go find some real ones, not pretend friends that you wouldn’t know if you met them in the street. Seriously, how can someone have 1000 friends on Facebook? What a crock.

    If Facebook acquired Opera, it would occur about two seconds before I removed it from my phone.

  5. omg said on May 26, 2012 at 4:10 am

    OMFG !! now this… why even make it cynical, everything for the advertises’ money… now with an ‘f’ logo all over the browser…

    I’ve been a user of Opera for a long time and if this is true, I’ll join an -I’m sure there will be- improved developers community of firefox to make a Opera-feature-like version.

  6. Dan said on May 26, 2012 at 12:43 am

    I’ve used Opera for about a decade now, but I will probably ditch it if it becomes a Facebook portal. But if they also provide a non-Facebook browser, then I can live with it. Opera may need more money to fix some of its longstanding annoyances that has forced me to use other browsers in recent years.

    1. rop said on May 26, 2012 at 1:01 am

      Opera has tons of money. Not only do they have loads in the bank, but their profits are rising as well.

  7. Damirora said on May 26, 2012 at 12:27 am

    There is….Maxthon. Users should switch to that if failbook get their claws into Opera. Here’s another idea, why don’t we make our own browser¿ For the other people, by the annoyed people.

    1. rop said on May 26, 2012 at 12:45 am

      Maxthon is made by a bunch of Chinese guys who have been lying consistently for a long time. No thanks.

  8. berttie said on May 25, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    I hope this is not true. Like previous commentators, I try and avoid FB, and certainly don’t want them all over my browser.

    But money talks, and shareholders are in it for the money. However, the shareprice has been falling over recent days which suggests this might be a beatup. See:

  9. ódio said on May 25, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    i use opera ever since before firefox exists.

    if red turns blue i will probably dont use it anymore..

    i dont even had a facebook acount… but i think it gonna work like chrome with a google account.

  10. MountainKing said on May 25, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    Opera would lose my trust…I’ve been using opera since version 3.50…..They are unique and facebook will surely distort that company horridly.

  11. Mike Manger said on May 25, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    The only way I could see this working is if Facebook just bought the use of the rendering engine (which you can already do for hardware) then made their own botched UI. Opera just doesn’t strike me as the sort of company to put ‘share this’ toolbars everywhere.

    I think it would be much better if they instead tried to resurrect the Flock browser – it already had pretty good Facebook integration. In fact, if you look at the old Flock site ( there is a suggestion that it will be back (just not necessarily under Facebook)!

  12. Kaushik said on May 25, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    This will be a nightmare. I hope this is a not true but I can’t help but wonder how Opera Software will react if indeed such an offer is made.

    On one hand they can continue to a remain a great independent browser that less than 2% people use, and on the other hand there is this big opportunity to increase their web presence.

  13. naveed said on May 25, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I love Opera, but hate facebook. I really hope this doesn’t happen. They’ll kill all that’s good with Opera and introduce vile hateful things.

  14. FX said on May 25, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    Facebook will spy on Opera users and will want to monetize them.

    Thankfully I use Firefox, the only browser that doesn’t serve greedy corporate and shareholders interest.

  15. JohnMWhite said on May 25, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    If Facebook get involved, I’d definitely ditch Opera. Hopefully it is just a rumour, but I have enough trouble avoiding Facebook’s tentacles without my browser trying to integrate every little thing I do with a Facebook account.

    It would be a shame to see Opera fall by the wayside. Chrome is naturally tied to Google, IE is improving but still hopelessly lagging compared to the other browsers, Safari is very Apple, leaving Firefox as the only real ‘independent’ browser that would still be a major player. And even Mozilla seem to be making missteps and losing some favour among their user base. Perhaps a time like this would be a golden opportunity for a lesser known browser to break through. Anybody care to make any guesses as to what browsers might fit the bill?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on May 25, 2012 at 6:51 pm

      The majority of browsers that I know of, use the browser engines of the top 3, and not their own. I’d say you only have a decent chance if you get the backing of a large company.

  16. Ken Saunders said on May 25, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    If Facebook were to do anything like this, even on their own, right now is the time. You know, strike while the iron is hot.
    It would be a good way for them to stick it to Google.

    Blake Ross works for Fb. Anything is possible.

  17. Sid said on May 25, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    I will definitely stop using Opera. I never liked Facebook & in the past also, they acquired & killed an app I loved to use (Snaptu).

    Opera will not suffer from killed features, but more than that. Of course, Facebook may not be able to kill it completely due to the user community.
    And on top of this, Facebook having access to my bookmarks, passwords, browsing history (Opera Link)! Sorry for the strong language, but let Facebook go to hell!

  18. Transcontinental said on May 25, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    I’ve said my word, does not appear …

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