Facebook To Buy Opera Software?

By | May 25, 2012 | 108 Comments


Facebook To Buy Opera Software?Oh boy, here we go…

Well, here is something to get you going. According to the latest rumor from TNW, Opera Software is looking for a potential buyer, ranging from Yandex, Google (we don’t see the deal being approved by the EU) and most importantly, Facebook.

Having already acquired Instagram for a cool $1 billion, Facebook’s next target might indeed be Opera, which, depending on its future plans (dumbing down + social integration), will upset a lot of Opera’s loyal users.

Although no additional details were revealed and both companies declined to comment on rumors and speculation, a source close to Opera revealed that the Norwegian browser maker has stopped hiring people, which might suggest that something big is indeed about to happen.

[Source: Pocket Linit]

[Thanks, Hiram]


About (Author Profile)


Vygantas is a former web designer whose projects are used by companies such as AMD, NVIDIA and departed Westood Studios. Being passionate about software, Vygantas began his journalism career back in 2007 when he founded FavBrowser.com. Having said that, he is also an adrenaline junkie who enjoys good books, fitness activities and Forex trading.

Comments (108)

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  1. Armin says:

    What? This comes totally out of the blue for me. Wouldn’t Facebook be much better off with RockMelt? Why is Opera Software looking for a buyer?

    • Well, after nearly 20 years, their market share for desktop is still below 2% and web pages compatibility continues to suck.

      • Armin says:

        But aren’t they primarily a company catering to the mobile phone market where they are very much successful?

        • You are only as strong as your weakest link, it still uses same rendering engine.

          • Issues with web page compatibility for Opera is caused by developers who don’t follow standards, and using css-prefixes (and lack of prefixes) which exclude Opera from being able to show pages properly. Some pages even prohibit Opera-users from watching their content using browser sniffing, saying “Your browser is not capable of viewing this page” even when Opera is fully capable of that.

            So don’t go blaming Opera’s Presto-engine for that please.

            Also keep in mind that Opera Mini/Mobile are the most used mobile browsers on world basis, while the mobile to desktop-ratio is rapidly increasing (at 10% now) and mobile is expected to surpass desktop in a few years. Check out gs.statcounter.com for statistics

          • By following web standards, do you mean: to work properly with Opera, please remove all position:fixed elements from your CSS files?

            Or that time (I believe in v11) when all menu’s were working great and then they decided to “Fix” it by implementing some sort of new or whatever standard, which broke a lot of menus (Magento admin is still broken)?

            Yeah, they’d rather say “we follow strict standards” than think of their users.

          • Cousin333 says:

            I reply to that one, as there is no “Reply” link under your last comment, just “Like”. Not in Opera nor in IE9… So:

            “By following web standards, do you mean: to work properly with Opera, please remove all position:fixed elements from your CSS files?”

            Don’t twist it! The position:fixed is a single (albeit serious) performance related bug, to my best knowledge the page renders correctly. So it is no web standard problem. And it is also very specific, while Mikkel was talking about a more common theme.

          • Cousin333 says:

            Also it is funny you notice it just now. Don’t you read your own blog?

            http://www.favbrowser.com/latest-opera-12-build-squashes-the-positionfixed-bug/

            OK, it is only a partial fix, but it shows, that they are working on it.

          • What I am saying is that Opera fanboys are quick to blame developers (as seen in the comment above) and everyone else but almighty Opera, which is not the case, since a lot of sites (I surf daily) suffer from the poor performance and it’s only Operas fault.

          • Ichann says:

            Working on what exactly? They always do this. They take ages to fix bugs.

            And the fanbase drinks it like kool-aid

          • For someone running a browser-blog, you seem quite biased towards Opera. 

            Keep in mind that if it weren’t for Opera there might not be any HTML5 or CSS.

          • Maxim says:

            Opera is his main browser.

          • I use it everyday, the more you use – the more issues you find. And I am using comment system, which indicates my individual opinion.

          • Also, I wouldn’t call myself biased. I just blame other people than Opera community does.

            There is always a workaround and blaming other people is not one of them.

            Yes, some developers target webkit, shame on them, but what prevented Opera from implementing webkit prefixes 2 years ago (when this problem started to appear) to benefit millions of its users? Nothing, just their ego’s.

          • Cousin333 says:

            To Favbrowser.com below:

            First, look who is talking? Why didn’t you do something with this shitty Disqus system? I simply cannot reply to a comment after the fifth comment, because there is no “Reply”. But the “like”, it is there. I see it has almighty importance above everything else. And don’t blame anybody for that, just simply elevate my user experience for the benefit of dozens of commenters…. :)

            Not implementing -webkit prefixes was a good decision. It would be a very bad example, I read lot of commenters complaining about them for doing it now. But it really is a fine example of web developer’s ignorance, so I guess mentioning that was a big own goal.

            Yes, lot of Opera users blame other (as well!), but the thing is, THEY’RE RIGHT! I am not saying, that Opera is flawless in any way, but supporting -webkit is indeed a desperate measure, which should not have come into question in the first place if everything goes on its way as supposed to.

          • Ichann says:

            @41393ef82166f46b5b7ee58f0c32e77a:disqus Well I told him not to change it. So, if you have a problem, then it is with me.

            On a serious note, he can migrate to livefyre

          • Yeah, intentionally, Operas very philosophy: One core, all devices.

          • jayjam says:

            “You are only as strong as your weakest link”

            That only applies if, you know, you are part of a chain.The mobile browser doesn’t depend on the desktop browser. The desktop browser could die tomorrow, and Opera Mini would keep going.

      • Cousin333 says:

        Yet, nowadays it makes record incomes and profits from quarter to quarter. Which cannot be said about the first 10-15 years…

      • And after 20 years people just dont get what Opera is about, they are completely uncapable of understanding anything beyond the PC.

        • Ichann says:

          I don’t think Opera themselves know what their browsers are about. They have one foot in developing features from the userbase and one foot in silly gimmicks.

          • jayjam says:

            “You mean that little .ini file that tells it to apply various hacks to site? Hardly seems like it is “coded from the ground up””

            No, not the ini file, but the actual browser engine. An ini file isn’t part of the browser code, geez.

          • Ichann says:

            Oops looks liek you made a boo-boo. Furthur down.

            The engine is like everything else.  Remove the ini file and browse an unsupported page. Then put it back.

            The engine tells the browser what elements it can handle.  When a pages doesnt loads with half the element missing or being disrupted than quirks mode kicks in with the ini file.

            That little file contains the various “hacks” designed by them so their browser plays nice. 

            “Browser JavaScript is a feature that allows Opera to automatically fix incompatible Web pages, out of date scripts, and pages that inadvertently block Opera. The script file is automatically distributed by Opera Software ASA, and can be used to apply fixes to specific Web sites, and specific scripts.”

          • Ichann says:

            “PATCH-567, Improve scrolling performance on cnet. Opera’s scrolling performance sucks when using box-shadow in combination with fixed position elements. This patch is ugly and basically kills box-shadow on cnet. Sorry about that, but it makes the site possible to use at least”
            So Opera sucks?

            “Added PATCH-554: The jQuery jsonp plugin contains a workaround for Opera’s historic lack of script.onerror support.”

            “PATCH-545, Bing Image Search adds history entries when scrolling results. Core bug where location.replace for changing the hash adds history entries.”

            “PATCH-532, GDocs: avoid jumping to top when scrolling document list. Actually a regression in Ragnarök, ”

            “PATCH-526, G+: avoid tall narrow posts due to word-wrap in table. Core bug.”

            These guys have a huge problem on their hands. THEY HAVE BUGS. Bugs which is hurting browser compatability. They run 2 versions at a time. Updating one neglecting the other. They are trying to fix these bugs with hacks by removing selectors that should be supported in the first place. Yet, the users and the company blame devs because of “Poor coding”

            This company is weird. No responsibility what so ever

          • jayjam says:

            Uh, yes, there’s a system to patch sites temporarily while waiting for them to fix their bugs, or while waiting for a proper fix in the actual engine. What’s your point?

            None of what you write contradicts the fact that Presto was created with real world site compatibility as a basic requirement. The Opera staff has stated so repeatedly.

            Bugs? Yes, all browsers have bugs. Once again you fail miserably at getting the point.

            Also, the patching system proves that Opera is actually working actively on fixing stuff. Contrary to your claims. Oops, guess you messed up.

          • Ichann says:

            They state a lot of things. Prove to me that Presto actualy deals with site bugs without that file. What does it do exactly?

            No. Opera has stupid bugs. Most which they introduce themselves.

            latter build should not have bugs that the previous build if it was fixed in an intermediate build.

          • jayjam says:

            You are contradicting yourself in a major way here. If that ini file contains all stuff that’s done to fix compatibility, Opera hardly has any bugs at all!

            That file contains stuff that’s usually specific to important sites, or temporary workarounds while waiting for fixes in the actual engine.

            Presto itself probably doesn’t contain these kinds of hacks for specific sites, but it does contain loads of workarounds for general problems. For example, it supports the non-standard document.all property for compatibility reasons.

            Another specific example where this Opera developer states outright that Opera was bug-compatible with other browsers on purpose:

            http://my.opera.com/hallvors/blog/2009/12/02/new-adventures-in-compatibility-testing

            All browsers contain bugs and regression. You should try software development some time. Might give you a clue or two.

          • Ichann says:

            Hi. I understand your Point. Instead of pointing out that I contradict myself due to the lack Of evidence you have in your post ( ink file = no bugs? Really?) why don’t you give me some facts. Did I say that no software has bugs? Was it necessary to make a snarky commen about me making something? No. You are neither in the position to criticise my abilities as I am not representing a company ( remmember when you said that a user doesn’t represent a company). So what is this I here? Contradiction?

            Please recollect upon yourself before openIng your mouth

          • jayjam says:

            Ok, so you are saying that they are not just using that ini file to fix sites, but that they actually add fixes (including compatibility workarounds) to the engine itself?

          • Ichann says:

            Buddy. This isn’t the once Opera rich/ sensual site it used to be. Most people here have woken to the fact that Opera is subpar company by practice. You will get not ego boost from being here. Go back to the opera forums for such a fix

          • jayjam says:

            I’m not sure how that rant is supposed to be a reply to what I wrote.

            And I don’t really care what you think is sub-par. Evidently the world disagrees, seeing as Opera is constantly setting new profit and revenue records. But arguing over which company sucks the most is pointless because you are not going to change your mind, and you are not going to get everyone else to agree with you.

            Anyone can make troll claims about companies being this and that. Backing it up with rational, reasoned arguments is a different matter. But ultimately pointless because you have already made up your mind about Opera, and rational arguments are not going to change that.

          • Ichann says:

            Ohh God!

            You are right. I aint changing my mind or any other people mind. I do not CARE. I do not need a someone to agree with me. I do not need an ego boost. You talk as if you own the company with profit margins and revenue. Why don’t you work for them!!!

            Re-read my comments, recollect upon yourself and try again.

            http://i.qkme.me/356oko.jpg

          • jayjam says:

            Uhm, you already replied to that comment (TWICE) just a couple of days ago.

      • Yoyo says:

        Most sites work well except microsoft email (I think live outlook whatever that site is)site which also safari load it same as opera.
        as 2% market share is good as no hacker is bothered to hack Opera :)).

        • Hotmail works at least better than Gmail, google does indeed block Opera on purpose.

          • Mkk says:

            I use Opera to go to Gmail and don’t notice any problem

          • Armin says:

            Try Gmail Chat as well as Gmail Voice and Gmail Video. I use Gmail to stay in touch with my family and it simply doesn’t work in Opera. Opera is probably only second to Firefox for me (and that’s because Firefox works and Opera doesn’t) and I put family above web browsers.

      • jayjam says:

        “what prevented Opera from implementing webkit prefixes 2 years ago (when this problem started to appear) to benefit millions of its users? Nothing, just their ego’s.”

        It wasn’t as much of a problem then as it is now. And I’m not sure how following open standards has anything to do with their egos… Care to explain?

      • jayjam says:

        “And how exactly did this philosophy worked for Opera in the last 20 years?”

        What philosophy? Opera isn’t a standards nazi. The engine was build from scratch to handle non-standard sites. I’m amazed that someone running a browser site doesn’t know that. What do you do all day exactly?

        “Or that time (I believe in v11) when sites were working great and then they decided to “Fix” it by changing the way it calculates offsets, which broke a lot of menus (Magento admin is still broken)?”

        You mean the bug which caused loads of compatibility problems and then they finally decided to fix it by becoming more like the other browsers? First you complain that they don’t care about compatibility, and then you complain when they fix compatibility?

        Dude, make up your mind!

        “Yeah, they’d rather say “we follow standard x and do this” than think of their users and the overall experience.”

        Except they don’t. Again, I’m amazed that someone running a browser news site has such a poor grasp of the browser market.

        • NotAFanboy says:

           Ohhh… Shut up. FavBrowser was right all the way. You are just as close-minded as can be.
          If a site X doesn’t work in Opera because of a site’s developer’s fault it’s actually not the developer’s problem it IS Opera’s problem.
          Because when the site isn’t displayed properly in the browser the browser looses it’s audience!
          The Browser HAS to DEAL with all kinds of POOR coding because it’s his freaking GOAL!
          It’s like a RESPONSIBILITY! You CANNOT say “Oh, I cannot do my job properly, because my clients are ill-bred and uneducated”. Because it is your freaking RESPONSIBILITY to do your job properly NO MATTER what kind of clients you’re dealing with!
          If you’re smart enough you’ll grasp the metaphor.

          • jayjam says:

            Um, yes, the browser has to deal with poor coding.

            That was exactly my point: Opera does deal with poor coding, and was coded from the ground up to do so, contrary to the claim that they only follow standards.

            I’m not sure how else you could interpret “the engine was build from scratch to handle non-standard sites.”

            Nice job fighting windmills, though.

          • NotAFanboy says:

             Your statements contradict the reality. You just don’t know s*it about the real situation, dontcha…. trying to be up your own ass.

            On Opera forums I reported sites displaying incorrectly and the only answer I was getting from Opera fanboys like you was “Not our fault – blame the developer!’
            I know this stuff from my own experience. So don’t give me your bulls*it.

            Keep up with your speculative reasoning.

          • Ichann says:

            You mean that little .ini file that tells it to apply various hacks to site? Hardly seems like it is “coded from the ground up”

          • jayjam says:

            How is the response from regular users i a forum relevant? They don’t represent the company.

            What’s relevant is what the actual company behind the browser is doing, and they designed the browser to handle poor coding. That’s a fact. They even said so themselves.

            You should try to calm down and look at what people are telling you. Right now you are in knee-jerk mode, attacking anyone who corrects your misconceptions.

          • NotAFanboy says:

             OMG you’re so stupid…

          • jayjam says:

            “OMG you’re so stupid”

            Says the guy who thinks a comment from some user in a forum represents the official position of a company he doesn’t even work for…

      • MacVities says:

        Web page compatibility is fine here.  The rise of Chrome and Firefox means that Opera has benefited from the previous IE-only web of yesteryear.

        I have no more problems than I do from FF or Chrome.

        And clearly it’s not about desktop marketshare.

        Opera is the king of mobile (bigger than Android, bigger than iOS).

        http://gs.statcounter.com/#mobile_browser-ww-monthly-201202-201205-bar

        It’s also VERY profitable.

        http://tinyurl.com/OperaSharePrice

        If those aren’t measures of success, I don’t know what are… Much better looking than Mozilla’s finances.

    • apád anyád says:

      Exactly my thought. There is already an (anti)social browser, why not targeting that one? Also, why selling Opera with such a successful past? Makes no sense, none of these.

      If it comes true, I’ll freeze on the last non-fb Opera.

  2. Dan7960 says:

    WHAT?!

  3. Shane Bundy says:

    No no no no no!

    I’d hate Opera to be bought, but if it helps towards improving their brand awareness then I guess I’m okay with it.

  4. Maxim says:

    This could be the best thing to happen to Opera ever. If facebook invests a lot in Opera and advertises it on facebook.com Opera usage will skyrocket.

  5. Midnite1 says:

    Just a rumor for now and nothing more!   

  6. Makroni says:

    Well it’s logical, Google has Chrome and G+, Facebook got…? 
    Back to Firefox i guess…what else is there Maxthon yeah right. I just hope that EU will say no to this deal. 

  7. Guest says:

    May be facebook is buying Opera to fix the facebook scrolling issue. :)

  8. Guest says:

    LOL Opera

    Crap browser and crap social networking site

    Guess they go well together

  9. Sirnh1 says:

    If this would be true, I would uninstall Opera immediately. The last thing I want to do is tell facebook about everything I do online…
     
    But I doubt it is true though especially since a couple of years ago the rumour was that it was ‘Microsoft who wanted to buy Opera’ and we all see how that turned out :p

  10. d4rkn1ght says:

    If these news are true, that would explain why Opera is dropping Unite, Widgets, Voice, IRC, BitTorrent, etc… Unite wouldn’t go well with Facebook.

    I just hope these news about Opera looking for a buyer aren’t true. This will be the end of using Opera for me.

    • Orion Listug says:

      Unite and widgets have been removed and they gae a list of reasons focusing on sliming down, and condensing features. Widgets are being (slowly) replaced by extension, Unite is being fuzzed with Link (slowly as well). Voice I haven’t heard about. IRC and BitTorrent have been removed only in the Mac version (BitTorrent was removed by request of Apple actually, lol). The main features of Unite still exist and as I said, are slowly being moved into Link. I’m not sure if you use/follow the Opera Next snapshots, but they’ve been working on all sorts of new features that include ditching old functionality for “newer” stuff. But I agree that I’d hate for Opera to be bought by Facebook. Though I must say, I find this whole thing kind of funny. The original rumor was that Facebook was working on a new browser, than a rumor about Opera looking to sell, and now the rumor that Opera might be selling to Facebook. Yet neither has made any comments. Almost makes me think that the rumors could be true, and that the 2 companies wanted to see how the rumors would affect them before going further. Wouldn’t be the first time a company did something like that. 

    • Ichann says:

      It is sad that opera is just reliazing that those features weren’t needed. When an outsider looked the browser objectively, those features did not make sense, yet opera went with the established user base whom are afraid of change ( ergo extension fiasco) then to sack up and follow through.

      Now they are removing those features which were redundant to begin with. I could only imagine the wasted resources in having support for said features in the first place

  11. Jorjy27 says:

    I am very much shocked reading this news. Although the news is still doubtful. I have been using Opera in my desktop since version 10.10 (From 2009 maybe) and using Opera Mini since 2006. I tried other web browsers many times. But got back back to Opera every time. Cause Opera is the only browser that offers such kind of customization. If facebook really buys Opera and name it ‘facebook browser’ then I’ll surely & surely remove it from my PC. Cause i know exactly what it would like next. I was a big fan of Snaptu application but after facebook bought it they stopped all the popular services. Even the weather services too, which had nothing to do with their social community. Let’s hope now this news isn’t true. 

  12. This rumor is complete non-sense, Facebook is already present in more cellphones than any browser will ever be, via Java, including all non-smarts, almost all lower-ends and even Chinese copycats support FB trough Java, so it is stupid at best to think FB needs any browser, not to mention one that has less than 2% percent of market share.

    I checked all links provided and everybody pointed to a “close trusted source”, what kind of BS is that?

  13. Marijn says:

    If this is true, my worries are not what Facebook would do to the Opera browser, but to FastMail, imho one of the best mail providers out there.

  14.  Facebook is buying Opera for more advanced features.

  15. Armin says:

    If Opera sells to Facebook, I’ll be switching my family over to Firefox. I myself switched from Opera to Firefox several months ago as it handles my power surfing better.

    • Guy says:

      Until Firefox dies and you had to swith again.

      • Armin says:

        So what? Opera gets bought up and Firefox dies? lol…

        • Jillxz says:

          There is  Chrome , the best browser  one of all.

          • GoogleHater says:

             Uhahahahhahahahha!

          • Jillxz says:

            Hey , Chrome is no laughing matter.  It is one of the fastest and best lol. A lot of people think so besides me.

            So go ahead and laugh but I can assure you that  Chrome will have the last laugh.

          • Opera.tor says:

             To Jillxz

            Hey, Chrome is the lamest and inconvenient browser to me.
            I’d rather be among the minority using Opera or Firefox. And Chrome can go to Hell with his ‘last laugh’.

          • Ichann says:

            @Jillxz

            Chrome has machine code

          • Gxhgfhhjfghf says:

            it defeats the purpose … chrome knows what you ate last night bro…..

          • Jillxz says:

            But that doesn’t bother me any.  I don’t care if Google knows what I ate , or what I bought , or where I went, or who I talked to .  I don’t care.  Am not the paranoid  type.

          • Ichann says:

            So does your cell phone. So do people you meet.

            Atleast chrome will filter what sht I do not like

          • Jillxz says:

            Pfffff ?  You know I’m right  lol.  You just don’t want to admit it

          • Pffff… not in a million years!!

          • MacVities says:

            If you exclude Opera of course.  Any real web users clearly uses Opera.  It does useful stuff other browsers can only dream of.

            Dragonfly makes other debuggers look frankly pathetic by comparison.

          • Jillxz says:

            Now that is real funny.  But , it is not true.  there is only a very , tiny percent who use Opera.  But whatever , have it your way .  No problem to me.

          • MacVities says:

            When will idiots learn?   Didn’t the Xbox and Wii tell you anything?  Marketshare is no indicator of product QUALITY or PERFORMANCE.

          • Jillxz says:

            When will idots learn ?  You are obviously an adolescent ,  my  dear.  It shows in the immature name calling.

            Also , your edginess tells me  a whole lot more about you .

            This is my last post to you.  So whatever , have it your way.

    • Opera.tor says:

      You’re right. The thing I noticed is when I use Firefox my browsing goes faster. And I would have switched a long time ago too if Firefox had a decent RSS Reader.

  16. someone says:

    I don’t use Opera anyway, but I still find this surprising.
    I don’t use Facebook either. Not everyone does so they might just get rid of Opera

  17. Max Renn says:

    All the topics about this proposed buy-out are being shut down on Opera’s own forums. So either it’s not true at all or they don’t want news spreading about it and users jumping ship.

    • jayjam says:

      “All the topics about this proposed buy-out are being shut down on Opera’s own forums.”

      Not true. They are keeping one main topic open, and shut down topics that are just duplicates of that one.

      Also, regular employees at Opera don’t know more than anyone else about this. Only the top management and board would know.

  18. Jillxz says:

    I sincerely doubt this rumor is true anyway.  Facebook won’t buy opera.

  19. ilogico says:

    What’s with the Opera hating? People who don’t use the thing complaining about it? WFT? Did someone forced you to use it? I don’t even know what people are talking about, sites not working and what not. I know google+ didn’t work because it sniffed out Opera. And why are Opera’s bugs worse than other browsers bugs? Yeah, because devs actually test sites against Firefox, IE and webkit so the problems get discovered. But come on, I could go on for a while explaining why I don’t like this or that, but this site is called favbrowser, not leastfavbrowser.

    • I don’t think anyone’s “hating” Opera, just because they point out that Opera’s current market position is not exactly enviable and that the idea of it being bought by Facebook makes little sense for either company, not to mention how unpopular the idea seems to be. 

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  21. Ichann says:

    Well, we did it guys. I dont think Mr. Zuckerberg would purchase Opera after all the bad press it has received here.

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