According to Pocket-lint, Facebook is rumored to be in talks of buying Opera. This would mean Facebook would have it’s very own browser.
Opera is used by 200 million people. But that is not something that would interest Facebook which is inching closer to 1 billion users.
Opera is the most popular browser on mobile platforms.
What does Facebook gain?
Facebook would overnight gain a very successful mobile browser. Facebook has not be very successful with mobile phones. It is the reason it shelled out $1 billion for buying Instagram, which is a mobile only photo app.
Facebook also has a problem of not figuring out how to make money from mobile phone apps. Below is a graph from StatCounter, that shows Opera is the market leader for mobile phone browsers.
Overnight Facebook might end up with a popular browser on mobile and tablet platforms. This will be important in the years to come when more and more people end up consuming content on tablets or mobile phones rather than the desktop browser.
Opera Users might not be happy!
I came across this discussion on Opera’s Forum, where users are not too happy about the prospect of their browser being bought by Facebook. Some threaten to quit using Opera and move to Firefox while others are wondering if Facebook acquisition would mean the end of privacy for users.
Some also worry if the browser will be more prone to attacks once it becomes popular as a Facebook browser and not just a browser with a small user-base.
On another note, I wonder where it will leave RockMelt which resembles a Chrome browser with Facebook extensions.
What are your thoughts on the rumor of Facebook acquiring Opera? Do drop in your comments.