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Facebook May Acquire Opera For Its Browser

Facebook continues to grab the headlines, with the Palo Alto social media giant now rumoured to be interested in buying Opera Software, the company behind the popular Opera web browser.

Acquiring the browser, which is mainly used on Apple and Android based mobile devices and is also available on desktops, would help Facebook in its push to further monetise the mobile market.

The company has long been reported to be interested in developing its own OS and is also said to be thinking of releasing its own ‘social smartphone' in 2013, in response to research showing its users are increasingly accessing the social network site from portable devices.

A Facebook-led browser would allow the company to build in plug-ins and menu bar features so that social networking became a fully integrated aspect of users' browsing experience and enabling data marketing at all times regardless of whether the actual site was being accessed.

Given that the Facebook IPO added a further $16 billion (£10 billion) to the company's buying power, the acquisition of a quality mobile browser like Opera would seem a smart move as it would avoid Mark Zuckerberg and co having to develop the software from scratch.

Such a move would invariably accelerate the pace of the company's collision course with Google as the two tech colossuses vie for Internet dominance, though Chrome's market growth is unlikely to abate in the short term.

Opera Software - which claim to have around 200 million users in total - has confirmed it is presently taking approaches from potential buyers. Facebook has so far declined to comment on what would be the latest storyline in its acquisitions bender.

The buyout rumours currently circulating derive from an anonymous source who claims to enjoy inside knowledge of Facebook plans.

Sources: Pocket-lint, Next Web