Is a Facebook Browser in the Works?
With Yahoo! debuting its mobile browser (and PC-based browser plugin) Axis yesterday, rumors have emerged today that Mark Zuckerberg has his eye on what might be Facebook's first major post-IPO acquisition.
According to Stuart Miles of Pocketlint.com, sources have told him that Facebook has opened up its now $16 billion filled pocketbook and has put some serious consideration into snapping up Opera Software. If the company is unfamiliar to you, they're the makers of the Opera browser, now in its 12th iteration and still grabbing market share with each passing year.
According to Miles' sources, Facebook is interested in redesigning the web-browsing tool to serve their over 900 million user accounts in finding what they want online. If this rumor holds water, the social networking powerhouse would move from a destination point to the entire damn road for some.
According to Wikipedia, since 1996 Opera has amassed over 200 million users worldwide, particularly on mobile platforms - a plus for Facebook, which has been tentatively seeking a greater presence on hand-held devices. Reworking the Opera browsing interface to provide support for instant sharing, gaming and other integrated Facebook features would propel the small, can-do browser into hundreds of millions of phones and homes.
A Facebook-Opera mashup, if integrated search is included, would also immediately give intermittent number one browser Google Chrome and competitors Firefox and Internet Explorer a run for their search money (and advertising dollars).
What are your thoughts? Is this a smart move, or a major disaster for Opera lovers? Would you consider using a Facebook browser with integrated plugins to make your social sharing easier?