With hundreds of millions of users running the Opera browser on dozens of different devices, there’s certainly plenty of incentive for Facebook to at least knock on the door in Oslo. While you might think a different browser would be a better fit at first glance — say, the uber-social Rockmelt — Opera offers a few additional goodies that make it a more enticing target.
First off, they’re in the mobile advertising game. Earlier this year, Opera picked up 4th Screen Advertising and Mobile Theory. Mobile Theory alone serves up more than two billion ad impressions per month, and 4th Screen counts sites like MTV and IMDB among its clients. Facebook would love to get their hands on additional mobile ad revenue, and Opera can certainly provide that.
Opera’s also got that slick Turbo system, which they leverage to deliver highly-compressed versions of web pages to their users. Turbo could also help Facebook serve up a faster, more efficient mobile experience to users — and major mobile improvements are something that they definitely have on their radar.
Snatching up desktop and mobile browsers would also give Facebook a way to gather delicious, delicious analytics about millions of web users even if they never log into the site. They’ve also got an enormous captive audience they can offer a better browsing experience to, just like Google does — and you better believe they will if they do end up buying Opera.
Data and advertising income for Facebook and a potentially massive boost to Opera’s user base. Sounds like a win-win situation, at least from a business standpoint.