Facebook: A Social Media or Technology Company?

Facebook + Opera + HTC = ?

Facebook has been immensely successful at all but monopolizing the social media market — it dethroned MySpace and Xanga (if anyone actually remembers these two) and has become a major hangout on the internet with YouTube and Google. Facebook was initially just a social networking site, but it took a bold gamble into the mobile foray which has paid off — now it boasts nearly a billion users worldwide and is widely used on the go and had nearly five hundred million mobile installations.

Now that the IPO of Facebook is over, it will be interesting to see what it does next. Now, Facebook is interested in purchasing Opera and making it’s own mobile device. Opera is a little-known web browser in the PC and smartphone world, but is used widely on features phones in the form of Opera Mini. A web-based company buying a browser seems backwards, but Google did make a similar move with Chrome, which is based on Apple’s “Webkit” layout engine and its own JavaScript  engine. If Facebook wants to create its own mobile device, then having a browser and photo app to install in the device would make it virtually ready made. All it would need then is an operating system which would most likely be some flavor of Linux. The result: yet another smartphone, OS, and app store to choose from (or contend with if you’re a developer). The biggest advantage Facebook has though is its humongous user base.

If even such a device does emerge, the biggest question is whether it will be dead on arrival like Microsoft’s so.cl or whether it will actually gain traction.


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