Is there a Facebook browser on the horizon?
It's been a busy couple of months for Facebook. First the social network acquired Instagram for a cool billion dollars. Then, last week, CEO Mark Zuckerberg took the company public (right before walking down the aisle with his girlfriend of nine years). Most recently, the company launched its own camera application for iOS devices.
Now, word on the street is that Facebook is considering buying the company behind the Opera web browser. Pocket-Lint cites a trusted source in reporting that Facebook is looking to purchase Opera Software. This source says Facebook could be about to expand into the browser space to take on the likes of Google, Apple, Microsoft, Mozilla and (as of this week) Yahoo!. If Pocket-Lint's information alone isn't enough to whet your appetite, there's more rumblings of the same variety over at The Next Web.
TNW spoke to their own Opera Software source and gleaned the following information: Opera Software is talking to potential buyers right now. It's not clear if Facebook is one of them, but TNW's source says the company is looking to sell and become part of "a larger privately-held or public company rather than trying to keep growing the business independently." This source also revealed that Opera Software has a hiring freeze in place, which indicates something big might be about to do down.
The move would save Facebook the hassle of building its own browser from scratch. While Opera is a distant last in the desktop browser market (as of last month, it had just 1.76 percent of the market), it's currently the top mobile browser with a market share of 21.52 percent and has a prescence on smartphones, tablets, and even game consoles, which could be more Facebook's style.
No comment for Facebook or Opera on this rumor, so stay tuned!