Facebook Eyes Browser Acquisition, Wants to Throw an Opera Party

Paul Lilly

Fresh off Facebook's acquisition of Instagram for a whopping $1.17 billion and following a lackluster initial public offering punctuated by more fizzle than sizzle, Mark Zuckerberg and company are reportedly interested in scooping up Opera Software, the Norwegian outfit behind the semi-popular Opera browser, and the only browser maker that puts out entertaining press releases.

Word of a possible acquisition comes from Pocket-Lint.com , which is getting its information from one of its "trusted sources." This "man in the know" tells Pocket-Lint that Facebook wants its own browser, one that would allow its users to interact with the site through baked-in plug-ins and special features on the menu bar.

This would be an interesting move for Facebook, which added more than $16 billion to its treasure chest since its IPO, and it would have implications in the browser wars, where Internet Explorer is the top dog (in terms of market share), followed by Chrome and Firefox. Opera barely registers a blip on the radar, despite having a staunch following of enthusiasts. However, Opera has a major mobile presence, which is something that's obviously attractive to Facebook. All told, Opera Software says it has 200 million users spread out on all of its platforms; Facebook boasts nearly a billion members.

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