Facebook To Make Foray Into Browsers With Opera Acquisition?

Having recently floated on the stock market, purchased Instagram and reportedly been developing its own smartphone, Facebook is now rumoured to be expanding its portfolio by sizing up web browser Opera as its next acquisition target.

Although Opera only came fifth on a list of the world’s most popular web browsers, it is still carving itself a tidy niche on Apple and Android mobile devices. Statcounter’s data showed that Google Chrome has now overtaken Microsoft Internet Explorer as the most popular browser.

With all the cash now readily available to the social network following its highly anticipated IPO earlier this month, buying a web browser would allow Facebook to push its own functionality through plug-ins and tool bars.

At present Facebook is reliant upon the likes of Google Chrome and Apple’s Safari to push traffic to Facebook.com and the mobile sites, but if the Opera purchase goes through it will be able to compete with rather than depend on these browsers.

The report from Pocket-Lint said that there is no indication of a timeframe for when this rumoured acquisition might take place, nor what the sums of money involved might be.

If Facebook were to acquire Opera and have its own browser, what sort of features would entice you into using it?