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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