Facebook's recent acquisition of Instagram for US$1 billion shocked many ardent fans of the popular photo-sharing app. In hindsight, Facebook's exorbitant buy-over makes sense on number of counts, since Instagram might eventually prove to be a thorn in their side, and also considering that Facebook is trying to safeguard their own photo-sharing interests and maybe build upon its services with Instagram on their side.
What's apparent, however, is that the once desktop-centric social networking giant is now under pressure to monetize profits from the increasing number of mobile users. And according to Reuters' report, Facebook is now allegedly eyeing Opera Software with yet another staggering US$1 billion takeover.
Surfing the web via a mobile phone can be a slow and frustrating process, and Opera's mobile web browser is known to optimize loading times with its own compression techniques to make the surfing experience as expeditious as possible. This bodes well for consumers too, since they're likely to pay less for data charges with smaller compressed files to download. Opera is also said to have 'the technology to better display ads', which would assist Facebook to some extent in transforming increasing traffic on mobile platforms to tangible dividends.
Arctic Securities, an employee-owned investment bank, told Reuters: "Opera would be sensible for Facebook on several levels. It would enhance the now limited mobile experience of Facebook, improve Facebook's mobile monetization problem, help Facebook retain online game developers leaving the social network over the lack of a mobile platform and further improve Facebook's ability to target ads."
However, it is unlikely that Google would sit idly by in light of Facebook's intentions. Google is Opera's search partner for Opera Mobile and Opera Mini, and if anything, we're guessing that the search giant themselves might be making a larger bid for Opera before Facebook gets to acquire the web browser company.