Facebook may be eyeing Opera web browser, reports say

If the deal happens Google and Apple could be in for more competition.

Facebook's advertising appetite could be in for a nice snack if the company gobbles up the Opera web browser as some technology observers have speculated it may, and investors who have been edgy since the social network's recent IPO could also get some relief.

Opera says that more than 168 million people -- many of them "young and innovative," according to market research -- used the Opera Mini mobile web browser in March. With Mini in hand, Facebook could vastly expand its reach into mobile. It could also mine more information about users even when they're not on Facebook.

Whether any such purchase of Opera by Facebook is imminent is pure speculation, but if it happens Google had better look out.

Apple might worry too. The Opera TV Store with its TV apps, and the Opera TV browser, optimized for Linux and Android based TVs, set-top boxes and media players, if joined with Facebook's deep pockets and reach, could mean the social network would be able to make a play for reaching people with a web experience on TVs in their living rooms as well.

There has certainly been a lot of buzz about the possibility lately.

PocketLint reports that "one of its trusted sources" says Facebook is interested in buying Opera Software, the company behind the Opera web browser.

Lending credence to the rumor, The Next Web says "a very solid source" says Opera Software is talking to potential buyers and that there's currently a hiring freeze at Opera, an indication something significant may be in the works.

Such an acquisition, if it happens, would make perfect sense for Facebook. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has assured investors that his top priorities this year are to transform Facebook's mobile and advertising experiences; bringing the Opera web browser into its fold would help make that happen.

Yet many Opera users aren't happy about the idea of Facebook gobbling up their beloved browser. Since the rumors surfaced many of them have been howling about the idea in online forums.

As PCWorld's John P. Mello, Jr. points out, Opera has been ambitious in a crowded industry. Last December, it purchased two mobile advertising companies, Mobile Theory and 4th Screen Advertising, to improve its position in the U.S. and European mobile advertising markets.

"Since its arrival on the browser scene in 1994, Opera has introduced innovations that browser users take for granted today, such as tabs, the integrated search bar and pop-up blocking. It also introduced server-side web page compression, a controversial feature later incorporated into Silk, the web browser found on the Amazon Kindle Fire," he writes.

Follow Christina on Twitter and Google+ for even more tech news and commentary and follow Today@PCWorld on Twitter, too.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Christina DesMarais

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?