Facebook to acquire Opera, develop own web browser?

David Liu May 25, 2012 0
Facebook to acquire Opera, develop own web browser?

Despite the chaos following Facebook’s IPO, the social-networking giant is nonetheless sitting on pretty hefty sum of cash–$16 billion, to be precise–and is looking for places to invest it. According to website Pocket-lint, their next major purchase could be the Norwegian company Opera Software, best known for its well liked and slightly alternative web browser of the same name.

The acquisition of an established web browser such as Opera could well be a smart way of expanding, as the browser claims to have 200 million users across personal computers, smartphones, tablets, and even the Nintendo Wii. This sort of cross-platform, multi-OS integration could make Facebook that little bit more accessible and convenient at all times, while saving Facebook the trouble of having to build a browser from scratch. And although Opera is lagging behind Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari in terms of user base, “this move – which would no doubt send shivers of panic through Google – although unlikely to affect Chrome’s continued growth in the short term, would see the two tech giants battle it out on your desktop and mobile for web surfing as well as social networking,” says Pocket-lint.

Supporting this rumor is an article in the Chicago Tribune, according to which an “anonymous source” close to Opera has been looking for potential buyers–although there was no confirmation as to whether Facebook was among them. In addition, Opera has allegedly instituted a hiring freeze, which is a sign that “something big is about to happen — or at least that Opera wants something big to happen.”

There’s no official word from either Facebook or Opera yet, but you can be sure we’re looking for the first sign of confirmation.

Sources: Pocket-lint and the Chicago Tribune

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