Just last week, the web was buzzing with rumors that Facebook was considering purchasing Opera Software, the company behind the Opera browser. Now fuel is being added to the fire as Facebook is (or at least was for a time) recommending Opera alongside Firefox and Internet Explorer and in place of Google's Chrome.
The story stems from this report on Favbrowser, which Thursday reported that Facebook's 'You're using a browser we don't support...' page showed up when they tried to access the social network using Google's Chrome. Listed as supported browsers are IE, Firefox and Opera. Neither Google Chrome nor Safari were on the list.
Curiously enough, this is no longer the case (we couldn't produce the same result when accessing Facebook via Chrome), but a cache of the page in question offers clear evidence of what Favbrowser is referring to. Even more puzzling: Under the question, "What web browsers does Facebook support?" Facebook's user help center lists Firefox, Safari, Chrome, and Internet Explorer -- in that order. No Opera at all.
So why was it showing up on the homepage as a supported browser when Facebook's help pages don't list it as supported? If we had to guess, we'd say it's because Facebook recently added support for Opera but have yet to update the help center. However, that doesn't explain why Chrome was all of a sudden registering as an unsupported browser.
We're assuming this is some kind of bug that has now been fixed because we're skeptical that Facebook would make such a move, even if it were gearing up to acquire Opera Software. Google's Chrome browser just over took Internet Explorer as the number one web browser. With 32.38 percent market share, Chrome is top of the pile. Where does Opera sit? Right at the bottom with just 1.78 percent of the market. Opera is still number one for mobile browsing (just about, Android is only a hair behind), but as far as the desktop is concerned, it's dead last.
So, while it makes tons of sense for Facebook to add support for Opera (and though it's not listed as a supported browser, it works just fine for us when we try to access Facebook), it really doesn't make sense to drop support for Google's Chrome, also known as the most used web browser available today. Facebook hasn't explained or commented on any of this, but we'll update you if we hear anything.