back to article Facebook needs Opera - to rescue it from dependence on Apple

Facebook is reported to be interested in buying Scandinavian browser company Opera Software. The facts are few, the sourcing criminally light, but the story arrives as Opera is also reported to have instituted a hiring freeze that some claim is a harbinger to putting itself up for sale. Both firms refused to comment on the …


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  1. Stefan 6

    Sounds like another Rockmelt disaster is in the coming ..

    1. Anomalous Cowturd


      Just say no.

      Or should I have bought shares, along with a license, years ago?

      Fuck the "Grab it and run" ideology.

      Just keep producing the BEST browser, and "Keep calm and carry on" please, fine Norwegian ladies and gentlemen.

      Declaration of interest: Long time Opera user, and godfather to a Norwegian. :-)

    2. ItsNotMe

      The second Farcebook takes over Opera...

      ...Opera will be REMOVED from all of my electronic devices.

      1. asdf Silver badge

        Re: The second Farcebook takes over Opera...

        Wow if you do that it might be noticeable due to their minuscule user base. If FB does go through with this deal they certainly aren't doing it to buy desktop browser market share. Still it is a decent browser that I often use exactly because of the tiny market share. No malware writer will specifically target a brower with such a tiny user base.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Opera - top dog.

    Their shares have been on the way up for years, whilst everyone else's have been sliding... Anyone that thinks Opera is a bad investment, because it's not the browser they use, is frankly a fool that can't see further than the go button in his browser.

    Added to that, anyone that's a "Web Pro" uses Opera, because it's got features that other browsers simply dream about having...

    1. JDX Gold badge

      anyone that's a "Web Pro" uses Opera

      Good one.

      More seriously, surely this can't be for real. FB, who exist specifically to make money from users' data, teaming up with Opera, who flat-out reject opportunities to do the very same thing?

      1. illiad

        Re: anyone that's a "Web Pro" uses Opera

        well why no buy it, and *monetize* it???

        and maybe give better support, unlike the current "we will only change what *we* want, despite major user wishes.." :(


        " we removed those features, it does not fit the 'look &feel' we want.."

    2. Neil Greatorex

      Re: Opera - top dog. AC@17:17

      5 downvotes? I can't understand the mentality of some people here, what on earth did he say that merits a single downvote, let alone 5?

      1. Tom Maddox Silver badge

        Re: Opera - top dog. AC@17:17

        It's backlash against mindless Opera fanboyism.

        1. hplasm Silver badge

          Re: Opera - top dog. AC@17:17

          By the mindless.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Opera - top dog. AC@17:17

        Because they use Firefox, and everyone knows Firefox rocks, as you can have an adblock and stuff.

      3. h4rm0ny

        Re: Opera - top dog. AC@17:17

        "5 downvotes? I can't understand the mentality of some people here, what on earth did he say that merits a single downvote, let alone 5?"

        Not because they said that Opera was a good browser - it's excellent and although IE9 has caught up, it has at various times been the best browser available. (It has always been better than Firefox, imo, even if you don't have all the plug-ins). But they finished their post by saying anyone who is a web-professional uses Opera. Simply not true nor should it be.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Why Opera is a great buy,.

    Take a look at Opera ASA share price over the last 5 years. Pretty impressive.

    Oh and this:

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward



    Time to move off then. :-(

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fastmail

      You're going to move because of an unconfirmed rumour?

    2. MikeyWilko

      Re: Fastmail

      Oddly, that was my first thought too. I've used FastMail for years and was quite happy when Opera bought it. When I heard this news, I too was concerned. As it has been correctly stated already though, it is still in the rumour jungle so no need to do anything just yet.

      Having said that, they might just buy the browser and not necessarily the whole company.

  5. Chris 171


    Is among very few web companies that I trust with my data, will be be a sad day if it gets swallowed and inevitably made to comply with the data suck style of this prospective new owner.

    Id rather pay for Opera again thanks.

    1. npo4

      Re: Opera...

      I agree, I'm one of the tiny percent of Opera users, and I personally like some of the features like the built in email and IRC clients.

      But if Facebook buy it, I can see it becoming either more bloated, or too much social integration...

      and to pick up more use they may change it's styling to be more like Chrome or whatever and lose what makes it unique...

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Opera...

        I can't see it becoming more bloated - surely being adopted by facebook will simplify the browser.

        Removing the need for the address bar for example, or the ability to browse to other sites.

  6. Wile E. Veteran

    Why should I care?

    I don't use Facebook, have tried every major Opera revision and gone back to Firefox every time, I don't use Windows or Linux or Mac OSX.

    I am already limited more by network latency and webserver response than I am by local rendering speed and I'm not expecting that to change any time soon.

    This is on an old P4M at 1.7 GHz with a chipset that caps out memory at 1GB for crying out loud.

    1. It wasnt me

      Re: Why should I care?

      Why should you care. Well, you probably shouldn't. Im just guessing here, but from what I read in your post you're probably not their target market. In fact you're probably not anyones target market.

      Yet you do care enough to post.......

    2. Wile E. Veteran

      Re: Why should I care?

      Nice to see all the Opera fanbois downvoting my post. Keep at it guys.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Why should I care?

        Sorry to disillusion you, your getting downloads because you're a tosser.

        (No, I don't use Opera).

  7. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge



  8. Nigel Steward

    Don't forget Only 35% of those polled trust Facebook !!!

    I am slightly repeating what I have said in another comment....

    A YouGov poll reported in the Sunday Times yesterday revealed that only 35% of those polled trust Facebook.

    Opera own FastMail, one of the best email providers, but if Opera was owned by FB, I and many other FM users would migrate away from FM, as we would not want our data to be in the control of FB.

    Mark Zuckerberg's often reported comments on January 9, 2010 that the age of privacy is over are hardly those of someone who is fit to run an email service.

    It is also reported that Mark Zuckerberg has views on hacking not shared by the majority.

    In my view FB purchasing Opera would be a disaster for Opera users, and more particularly users of FastMail & OperaMail.


  9. Richard Bijster

    Goodbye Opera from my OS in that case

    I've been using Opera for about 10 years, If Facebook take over Opera I will immediately be removing the Opera/ Facebook spyware from my operating system. The reason for me using Opera is that it is not affiliated with companies that think they have the right to suck up all the personal information about web browsing habits. F-off Zuckerburg you 'aint getting your hands on my data.

    1. W.O.Frobozz

      Re: Goodbye Opera from my OS in that case

      Same here. Been using Opera for so long I can't imagine life without it. But if Fuckerberg gets his greedy claws on it, I will not be using Opera ever again.

      1. moiety

        Re: Goodbye Opera from my OS in that case

        Amen to that. I think it would be a huge mistake on the part of Opera at least; and I don't think that FaceBook would be getting what they think they would be getting.

        The people who use Opera are the demographic -I imagine- that would be least tolerant of Facebook-style info-sucking dickery. I know that I will be abandoning ship the second the purchase goes through, if it does.

    2. Neil Greatorex

      Re: Goodbye Opera from my OS in that case

      It would be an enormous wrench to stop using Opera, as it's been 13 years for me, but I will should FB buy them.

    3. Def Silver badge

      Re: Goodbye Opera from my OS in that case

      Tools > Preferences > Advanced > Security > Auto-update > Do not check for updates.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Goodbye Opera from my OS in that case

      "The reason for me using Opera is that it is not affiliated with companies that think they have the right to suck up all the personal information about web browsing habits."

      Seriously, you ought to try running a fresh install of a post 11.5 version of Opera with default settings with Wireshark. It calls home /all/ the time. Practically every single keypress generates packets. And not only to either, also Google since the URL box became more Chrome interactive like. And this is without Turbo or Unite enabled.

      I've also used it since v6, but recent versions have been a real eye opener. There's no place for complacency when you're using freeware.

      1. moiety

        Re: Goodbye Opera from my OS in that case

        Post 10.01, actually.

  10. Fuzz

    page impressions

    clearly the reason to buy Opera would be for all that page impression data. Opera turbo is a giant proxy server. Imagine the ads you could target with that amount of data.

    1. illiad

      Re: page impressions

      you CAN turn it off... :)

      1. Greg J Preece

        Re: page impressions the current version. If FB buy Opera, are you really imagining they'll leave the option in to turn off Turbo?

  11. Steven Batchelor

    Opera gets zucked as well then

    Lets hope that this doesn't happen

  12. 2-Part Return

    As an Opera user

    I would find that sad news. I rarely use Opera turbo/mini these days, so the privacy issues aren't much of a worry for me although they would certainly exist. And for Opera, greater exposure would be nice, web developers might actually begin to acknowledge its existence.

    I do worry that the browser would become a social Facebook interface covered in branding and unremovable methods of 'liking' things. While gradually losing anything that might, one day, possibly cause a typical Facebook user confusion. e.g. Dragonfly, mail, feeds, right click, windows, user scripts, ad blocking capabilities

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Does not make sense

    The beauty about facebook and the reason why so many people use it is because no matter what device you are on you can access a version of it and keep in touch with people.

    If they create their own browser and phone then that suggests they are trying to go down a walled garden route, but that market is already sown up by Apple and Google. Anything that takes facebook down a BBM / iMessage / Skype kind of route limited to certain phones / OS / Browsers then they'll end up losing users hand over fist.

    It sounds like they are spending money with a scattergun approach. I figured it would take another 3 years before they went down the toilet, but with these acquisitions Zuck will have them fast tracked to the poor house

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Does not make sense

      You can make the same argument about Google, and yet they made their own browser and mobile OS. So why can't Facebook?

  14. Da Weezil

    Oh no!

    Ive been using Opera for a long time... the tabbed browsing it had before Firefox was ever released was the first attraction, and I've stayed since, it does what I want, I have it across Windows and Suse boxes here.

    If it gets facebooked it will be dropped really quickly. I've never seen the attraction of the data hoovering social networking scam, I do as much as I can to remain in control of my stuff. I avoid facebook and its kin like I avoid Google as much as I can.

    I hope that the deal doesnt happen.

  15. James Le Cuirot


    Nononononoooo. I paid for Opera back in the day and I've avoided Facebook like the plague. I'm a dedicated FastMail user too. This seriously sucks. I really hope it's not true.

  16. Nick De Plume

    Then - goodbye Opera

    It has been my browser of choice since v3 days. Fast, clean, light, unhindered, safe. Big in features, small in footprint.

    My distrust of Facebook will preclude me from staying on.

    Opera, as a company, may need/want the cash. Opera as the idea will be tainted.

    1. Greg J Preece

      Re: Then - goodbye Opera

      ...."The idea"?

      Opera is not a concept. Opera is not a religion. Opera is not a state of mental nirvana.

      Opera is a company. They exist to make money. From you. Don't ever get the impression that it's otherwise.

  17. ratfox Silver badge

    "managers now answerable to shareholders"

    Errr... That would be the single shareholder who controls over 50% of the voting shares, right? I'm pretty sure managers were already answerable to him...

  18. Tony Martin

    Other iOS browsers

    I hav Opera on my iPad but I never use it, because I don't like the way it works. I do have these other alternative browsers: Terra, PerfectBrowser, and Mercury.

    So if there are numerous web browsers on iOS, and there are not rendering the way Opera is, then why no Firefox of Chrome yet?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Other iOS browsers

      Because those other 'browsers' are just re-branded iOS Safari... the 'rendering' i.e. engine remains the native iOS Safari client...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Other iOS browsers

      Because you are still using Safari.... They just add horseshit ontop... Like Dophin does.

      Opera is the only non-Safari based browser on iOS, simply because it's not a browser....

  19. CrikeyMoses

    What a load of shorsehit..

    ...this news pains me greatly. The company which makes my browser of choice is about to be assimilated into the slimy evil Farcebook borg, WONDERFUL.

    I will be killing my Opera accounts in short order as a precautionary measure.. If the sale goes through, v11.64 may well be the last version of Opera I ever install.

    You gotta love how the dirty data-mining surveillance money turns everything that it touches to crap.

    1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge


      This is a Friday afternoon rumour originating at a mobile device web site called Pocket-Lint. Their last story from a "trusted source" was about the delivery dates of different colours of Nokia Lumia Windows phones.

  20. bep

    Oh dear

    It seems there are two distinct types of Opera users. First are the desktop users who have used it for years, keep trying the other browsers and keep coming back to Opera. Second are the mobile users, many of whom have Facebook accounts and don't think, let alone care, about privacy. The second group would be the vast majority I imagine, but I'm in the first group and it's bye bye Opera for me if this happens. I doubt Facebook would care if they lost every single desktop user; we're not the people they're after.

    1. Alan W. Rateliff, II
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Oh dear

      Only two types? Interesting. You forget a third type which uses Opera Mini on J2ME phones but not on the desktop, who also does not use Facebook at all on any platform.

      If Facefuck were to over Opera I would discontinue using Opera Mini on my phone. There are a few other J2ME browsers out there which are actually quite nice. I have rather enjoyed Opera Mini since the v3 days. I do have Opera installed on my desktop machine for testing purposes and that I can use a larger interface to manage my mobile's favorites and speed dial using the synch feature, but I don't use it for any day-to-day browsing.

      But, as said before, this is mostly rumor from "reliable" sources. We'll just have to see if this ever develops.

      Paris, "reliable" source.

    2. Robert Baker

      Re: Oh dear

      "many of whom have Facebook accounts and don't think"

      Says it all, really.

  21. sueme2

    Arr Common

    Join the party, get Zucked. What have we got to lose???

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't underestimate FB . .. .

    . . .. . Personally I hate FB, Interface, policies, . .. . but, IMO they have reached that critical mass where if you do wish to share stuff to a non IT audience then it is the 'only platform', takes special circumstances to beat Google at the game they wish to play. IF \ When they push their mobile then they will need a browser that they can lock in. I'd hate to see the T&Cs on that thing but if they market via popular media (who will buy in or no invite) then Joe Public will follow or more accurately be herded like a flock of sheep. With the revenues created (propped up by Finance industry) recently FB can be taken to a new level in terms of Global Corp and 'Units Of Interest' [U O I] i.e. people and what they do, eat, live, breathe and purchase (seen any adds about purchasing with your mobile recently??). Personally I think Instagram purchase was a favour returned but Opera would be a very shrewd move and I would be amazed if it didn't happen. I think people will look back in 5 years time and think phone + browser was a pivotal moment in history of FB, nothing new of course as Safari + Apple is similar but I think the walled garden will be greater from Facebook wrt data access - have the 'open android approach' for devs and consumers but FB has access to all apps and their data, this will of course be for the 'benefit of the end user' who will find the cool features a bonus no doubt as marketing is well sussed.

    Techies who say they will drop FB, feel free FB don't really care - go play with Linux, BSD, . . . we will let you 'get it working' (even though primarily a 'web app' at the moment) but then you are back in FB which you will have to do to be a part of the FB cult - touché. You can even allow people to root their mobile - majority won't.

    IMO there are too many interests involved with FB, it ain't going to disappear for many, many moons and I think will grow far more grotesque to the point where privacy will be a politically deflected minor issue where more focus should probably be given on manipulation of people through common techniques, basically spin \ propaganda, . . . . FB becomes the latest media tool for purchased air space for Gov or Global industries (not sure what the difference is any more).

    There will be no FB prosecutions over the recent IPO - me thinks they are very very well connected. Google choses "Don't be evil" FB could use "Prevent Evil" look at the so called Arab Spring and the way social net working has re-defined democracy but then look at the state those countries are in.

    Sorry to rant.

  23. MacroRodent Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Assimilation in progress?

    Wonder if it is a coincidence, but Opera web sites have been slow or down in the past days... (I keep a small photo collection there). Has the Borging of Opera already started, or just extra load due to worried Opera users and curious gawkers?

    Now where is my tin foil hat?

    1. luxor

      Re: Assimilation in progress?

      None of the above I'm afraid.

      My Opera under DDoS attack.

      1. MacroRodent Silver badge

        Re: Assimilation in progress?

        Ah, thanks for the link, luxor. Had been looking for something like this but could not find, because of the DDOS problem itself... Strange that some miscreants bother to keep attacking My Opera for so long, it's such an uncontroversial site mainly used by Opera fans.

  24. beep54

    Say it ain't so, Joe!!

    I like Opera. It is not my favorite browser. Firefox is mainly because I am more familiar with it. But FF is really pretty crappy with flash which tends to run beautifully in Opera. Not to mention that Opera is an email client in and of itself. But if F**kbook picks it up, I will drop it like a hot potato. I want NOTHING to do with FB. I guess there's always Iron......

  25. uncredited

    Positive news

    Contrary to most here I welcome this with open arms, I don't even remember when I started using Opera, it's been my browser of choice for so long but I think this could turn out to be extremely positive for Opera as a browser. It could lead to a lot more people using it and as a consequence a lot more sites (read online banks etc.) will be available for Opera.

    1. Lamont Cranston

      Re: Positive news

      I think you've found the only good thing that might come of this (although I've found very few pages that don't play nice with Opera, of late), but it's far outweighed by the negatives: Facebook will take a wonderful browser, and make it crappy (not to mention that they will make a mockery of Opera's promises to protect their vast data hoard, too).

  26. Daverk
    Thumb Down

    It's just stupid all these takeovers! Being using Opera for years and don't want this at all!

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Like others, Opera has been my browser of choice since Netscrape imploded all those years ago... I also paid hard cash for an ad-free copy of it way back when other lesser browsers were available for free.

    It's on every desktop I've ever owned, and runs like a dream on my clunky old simbian/nokia.

    The thought of Opera being assimilated by Faceache is like Nokia being assimilated by Microsoft. The end of independent thinking and creativity. The end of the world.... (almost).

  28. h4rm0ny

    And there was great rejoicing at this news...

    ...amongst the Internet Explorer development team!

  29. Greg J Preece

    Soooooo we're gonna have:

    IE9, that on default settings sends everything you do to Microsoft.

    Google Chrome, which sends everything you do to Google.

    Opera, which sends everything you do to Facebook.

    Firefox, which sends ever-...oh.

    It's still hilarious watching the Opera fanboys react to any mention of the browser. Someone mentioned Opera? Better gush about how you're a "web pro"* for using it, and everyone else is an inferior mindless drone.

    * "Web pro" - bwhahahahahahahahaha!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Greg J Preece

      "It's still hilarious watching the Opera fanboys react to any mention of the browser. Someone mentioned Opera? Better gush about how you're a "web pro"* for using it, and everyone else is an inferior mindless drone."

      Well, it *is* a bit nostalgic to go back to your childhood and act like Firefox zealots (sadly that seems to cover 99.9% of Firefox users,) now and then. Interesting how they only notice the behaviour when it's others doing it. The forced repeated haha thing, by the way? Even more childish. Still, if you want to act like Nelson in The Simpsons, that's your character deficiency.

      1. Greg J Preece

        Re: @Greg J Preece

        Hello, anonymous person I think I know. ;-)

        Nice try, but I've said repeatedly on this verrah site that Opera's actually a pretty darned good browser. As for the rest of your down-the-nose attempt at a put-down, do me a favour and look to the left of my above post. See the weird-looking face? You should Google that.


  30. John70

    Wait until it's integrated into FaceBook

    Your wall will now be showing "[ac] is viewing Click here to see what [ac] is viewing."

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Optimist scenario

    What if facebook buys opera and knowing its horrible image regarding privacy, open sources it with Apache license?

    So, they can say: "look at the source"

    As opera user for almost a decade, I have one objection: it should have rigorous commit policy and it should have a benevolent dictator. It should never, ever be some jobless developers playground. Or, "M" happens. Opera can run on Android devices with 256m RAM. It works on devices which maker gave up themselves since code is tight and professional.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why is owning or controlling a browser that important? we have standards now and most people are sticking to them.

    It's only when browser fragmentation and browser specific junk starts to reappear that having your own browser makes any difference.

    If Facebook need to "invest" in anything it is better mobile apps.

    1. Ilgaz

      Opera _is_ html5 client

      Right now, opera makes one of the most (if not best) html5 browsers on mobile which runs exact same rendering engine as the desktop version.

      Pack it and remove navigation, bookmarks, point it to some domain as , there you have a very advanced application which uses fraction of cpu/ memory of your horribly run client. It even does video (again, html5) and 3d (webgl) and it can even run on a cheap Huawei or zte.

      I really don't understand people who thinks facebook is after their raw opera mini data or random bookmarks. Facebook has 1000x more usable and personal data themselves right now.

  33. Bradley Hardleigh-Hadderchance

    Longtime Opera user...

    ...Longer time Fastmail user. Started off with the free accounts, migrated to low-tier paying....

    I use FF as secondary browser. Fine.

    The moment that this rumor becomes substantiated in any way, I shall stop using Opera as my browser of choice, on both win and linux. I shall also close my Fastmail accounts. Not a big deal for me - a few hours work maybe.

    I'm sure the deal wouldn't be to 'Zuckerslerp' us pitifully small market share Opera users. Or even Fastmail users. But put together that is a pretty powerful aggregate and you know, you can't be too careful these days. The price of Bacofoil has gone through the roof lately and I, for one, shall not be taking any chances....

    Seriously, I will stop using Opera and close my Fastmail accounts. I promise.

    1. Ilgaz

      The reason we pay for fastmail

      I am personally paying so they don't get the money in other ways like google.

      I can't imagine they would let face in that system. Otherwise they better do 'tar cvzf * && shutdown -h now ' as root. No need to waste electric.

  34. JDX Gold badge

    Opera users should love FB

    If you hold Opera shares, they just went up 25% based on this rumour.

    1. Ilgaz

      That is investors

      Shareholders get that 25%, users may go down 25% if they don't manage this PR mess _right now_.

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