There have been rumors going around starting last week that Facebook is seeking to purchase Opera Software — Opera is a web-browser competing with Chrome and Firefox — and such rumors have boomed Opera’s stocks up to 26 percent this Tuesday. Facebook would seek this especially because Opera works wonders on Smartphones and other mobile devices, and would smooth over Facebook’s operation in such media.
“Opera would be sensible for Facebook on several levels,” said Arctic Securities. “It would enhance the now limited mobile experience of Facebook, improve Facebook’s mobile monetization problem, help Facebook retain online frame developers leaving the social network over the lack of a mobile platform and further improve Facebook’s ability to target ads.”
So what does the Norwegian-based Opera have to offer? Its shares are smaller than Chrome’s and Firefox’s but its server base is 200 million strong on Mobile and Mini subscribers; its browser has the unique power to compress data up to 90 percent — handy on such devices that have limited memory — ; its software is available on most phones, including Blackberry and Android; and its markets include such Facebook weak points as India, Brazil, and Asia.
Opera’s founder and top shareholder, Jon S. Von Tetzchner, seemed democratic when he expressed his wishes that Opera focus on its own goals:
“I want Opera to focus on growth and delivering good results; there are big opportunities for Opera.
“I personally think that an ARPU [average revenue per user] goal of $1 is even modest. I am not pushing for a takeover.”
And yet he added that it would be “undemocratic” for him to block such a takeover if other shareholders desired it.
One of the main reasons Facebook would seek to maximize its resources is because it is up against stiff competition — especially from Apple. Apple offers a tightly coordinated set of software that are carefully designed to work together. Competition from Microsoft and Android markets would greatly profit by software integration, such as Facebook would gain by wrapping its product with the Opera browser. Web apps just don’t work as fast as the apps built into the phones, as Mike Shaver, who leads Facebook’s Android app development noted, saying that the Facebook app for Android is “mostly a wrapper” around the mobile web site.
Linking up with Opera would put a bit of strain on Facebook’s relations to Microsoft’s Bing, and as always the competition is fierce between Firefox, Google’s Chrome, and Apples Safari. If Facebook could gain control over an operating system, they could get it to work with Facebook’s unique demands, getting the app to work as they want.
Opera is still a small contender compared to its gigantic rivals, but its browser’s use is increasing, and with such suitors as Facebook knocking on its door, its stock is booming.