Posted by Renee Schmidt

Is Facebook going to acquire Opera?

Earlier today¬†Mashable reported Facebook”s plans to buy Opera, a browser designed by a Norwegian company software.¬† The LA Times, hours ago reported that credible sources have informed them that Facebook is indeed targeting Opera as its latest acquisition. Most people are quick to ask why Facebook would wish to buy Opera?

Wall Street analysts think that because Facebook is new and thus “closely observed’ by both Wall Street and Mainstreet investors, it has started to make this and other purchases to make sure that it does better to solve its mobile monetizing problems. Opera, which is an extremely favored smartphone app, could certainly enhance Facebook, giving it the Wall Street image its investors and stockholders are seeking. The website Pocket-lint was first to leak the news Friday, although there have been no definite confirmations just yet.

The Opera browser may be good for Facebook because its an app already on most smart phones and tablets, and its also the browser of the Nintendo Wii. Opera claims to have about 200 million users, but that’s a far cry from Chrome, which is the most popular browser on the globe. Next to Chrome comes Microsoft, followed by Mozilla. Recently Yahoo decided to come up with its own browser, the new Axis.

Pocket-lint says that this is not just a rumor, adding : ” “The move — which would no doubt send shivers of panic through Google — although unlikely to affect Chrome’s continued growth in the short term, would see the two tech giants battle it out on your desktop and mobile for web surfing as well as social networking,”

A source close to Opera confirmed to The Next Web that Opera is considering several buyers. There have also been reports of a freeze in hiring at Opera, suggesting the rumors may be true. The Next Web did not identify Opera’s “interested buyer” as Facebook, but reported “something big is going to happen soon.”

There are those who predict that an announcement may be made during or after the Memorial Day weekend. Most Facebook users however, do not seem to be too keen about changing browsers. Comments from the Mashable regulars seem to indicate that Facebook needs to acquire Opera to enhance the company’s image. Other’s, however, say that the acquisition could make Facebook bigger than Google, adding that Opera is NOT just a browser, and that a Facebook purchase of Opera could be the start of something “huge.”

As usual, Facebook will not confirm or deny negotiations. Wall Street, Main Street and techie enthusiasts are waiting eagerly for some sort of announcement!

Image [via]