Opera 45 goes social with sidebars for Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Telegram

Opera 45 lets you easily share content with friends thanks to built-in messaging features.

IDG

IDG

The Opera browser is reborn thanks to the power of messaging. Opera (the company) recently announced that the latest version of its browser is adopting some messaging features from Neon, an experimental version of Opera. The new features include built-in support for Facebook Messenger, Telegram, and WhatsApp in Opera 45.

There’s nothing particularly special about Opera’s versions of the messaging programs. WhatsApp is just WhatsApp Web that everyone already uses, while clicking the Facebook Messenger takes you to Messenger.com.

What’s different about Opera’s approach is that the messaging web apps don’t open in a new tab. Instead, the messengers appear in a panel that pops out from the browser’s left rail.

opera45 1 Opera

Opera 45’s new messaging panel.

The messaging panel can either overlay the current webpage you’re looking at or be pinned to the browser. When pinned, your messaging apps appear side-by-side with the current webpage you’re viewing. You can only view one pinned messaging app at a time, but pinning one of them pins them all.

By default, Opera shows the Messenger and WhatsApp icons when you enable the new messaging feature. Telegram can be added by clicking on the Opera menu icon and going to Settings > Sidebar > Manage sidebar.

The story behind the story: There’s nothing particularly new about Opera’s built-in messaging features. Their have been several cautionary tales of social browsers that went pretty much nowhere. including RockMelt and Flock. Both those browsers attempted to integrate full Facebook and Twitter feeds with the browser, whereas Opera is focused on messaging. Still, social sidebars are not exactly revolutionary, and there is yet to be a browser that convinces users that this is the way to go.

In addition to the new messaging features, Opera 45 adds new light and dark themes, and on Windows the browser will use the GPU more often for video decoding. Opera says this should mean “significantly higher framerates, higher resolutions, and lower battery usage for these videos.” Perfect for watching all those 60fps videos on YouTube.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags operaFacebook

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.

Ian Paul

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

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?