Opera’s fondness for building social networks into its browser now extends to what’s arguably the hottest platform at the moment. The company has updated its desktop browser with quick access to TikTok through the sidebar. You’re ultimately accessing the web version anyone can use, of course, but this is still helpful if you want to quickly check your feed at work (especially longer clips) or upload edited videos from your computer.
The addition joins fast access to Instagram, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. You also have access to a media player sidebar with access to services like Apple Music and Spotify. These are again web apps, but Opera is clearly hoping to reel in users who’d rather not run separate native apps or switch browser tabs.
The TikTok feature is ultimately an extension of a familiar strategy. As with its gaming and crypto browsers, Opera is hoping to draw you away from the likes of Chrome and Safari by integrating useful (or at least trendy) services into its client. When all modern browsers tend to perform well, Opera effectively argues, why not use one that might be more convenient?
It’s not certain how well that approach is working for the company’s bottom line. Opera has gained share in the past few years, climbing from just under 2.3 percent in Statcounter’s October 2019 rankings to nearly 3.6 percent three years later. However, it remains a distant fifth and is competing more with Firefox (just over 7 percent share) than Chrome (66.5 percent). If anything, Opera is establishing itself more as the go-to option for those tired of what Apple, Google and Microsoft have to offer.
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