Money, Ads are the Big Draws for FB in Opera Plan

Ars Technica's Matthew Braga today speculates that the primary reasons Facebook is rumored to be interested in buying commercial browser maker Opera Software are not the browser technology itself, but rather money and ads.

However, there is another more important part of Facebook's post-IPO plans that an Opera acquisition could solve—monetization and mobile ads.

Braga points out that Facebook users prefer mobile to desktop access but a comfortable margin but that the company has as yet been unable to monetize those tiny-screen eyeballs. Opera, meanwhile, has been generating serious revenue from its mobile MiniBrowser for some time. In addition, it has acquired two medium-sized but technologically savvy ad outfits as well.

Some 330 million mobile users are reachable with Opera's browser software, the company says. That compares to Facebook's figures that show 425 million of their users are accessing the service on the go.

Given the largely negative assessment provided so far by analysts for the possible acquisition, it's nice to hear someone with some tech chops talk abut why such a deal might make sense.

The real question might be, "What's in it for Opera?"

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