updated 12:57 pm EDT, Fri May 25, 2012
Sources suggest Facebook would join browser wars
Facebook may be planning to buy Opera Software, maker of the Opera web browser, according to a rumor. Sources of Pocket Lint say that the social network is looking towards making its own browser, which would put it alongside Apple, Google, Microsoft, Mozilla, and Yahoo, and the purchase of Opera Software and its technology would save Facebook from having to build one from the ground up.
Mark Zuckerberg has spoken about a renewed focus on mobile platforms, advising investors before its troubled IPO that improvements would be made to the mobile app versions. Slowing growth rates in advertising revenue and the user base has forced Facebook to look for ways to regularly increase its bank balance, with mobile being the central focus to the strategy. Purchases of photo-sharing app Instagram for $1 billion alongside Android-based Lightbox and location-based customer loyalty system Tagtile will certainly aid Facebook in increasing its mobile efforts, with a browser being a natural extension.
Opera, fifth-most popular browser as of March 2012, brought out Opera Mini 12 in February with social network aggregation and performance improvements. Yahoo released its own Axis app for “visual search” on multiple platforms, but suffered temporary security issues with its Chrome extension.