Opera Mini 7 adds social summaries for feature phones
Opera Software released a new version of its Opera Mini 7 browser for feature phones that adds Smart Page, a one-page summary of all news from the user's Facebook and Twitter feeds.
Smart Page first surfaced in February with the launch of Opera Mini Next, a beta browser designed to offer consumers a preview of forthcoming Mini features and enhancements. In addition to more efficient access to social media updates, Smart Page also suggests news sites to follow, and enables users to add feeds for the sites they browse most often. All Smart Page content is available via Opera Mini 7's start screen and complements the browser's existing Speed Dial shortcuts tool.
The updated Opera Mini 7 is available as a free download for J2ME, S60 and BlackBerry phones. According to Opera, there are now more than 172 million Mini users worldwide. Another 17 million subscribers use its Opera Mobile browser.
Opera Mini 7's focus on simplified social media access appears likely to further fuel rumors that Facebook is looking to acquire Opera Software. Citing "trusted sources," Pocket-lint recently reported that Facebook wants to develop a mobile and desktop browser that closely integrates social networking features and plug-ins, a move to reduce its reliance on browsers like Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) Safari, Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Chrome and Mozilla's Firefox. Acquiring Opera would spare Facebook the time and effort of building the browser from scratch.
"Opera would be sensible for Facebook on several levels," research firm Arctic Securities told Reuters. "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." Both Facebook and Opera have declined to comment on the reports.
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