Opera refreshes browser to allow direct access to WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger

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"Using WhatsApp on Opera is exactly the same as using the web service", Krystian Kolondra, Opera's Executive Vice President of Desktop, told CNET on potential privacy concerns.

As part of its latest browser update, officially known as Opera v45 or "Reborn", Opera has added a separate communication panel that lets you chat with friends while browsing the web. The company has instilled the applications on an integrated sidebar into the browser where users can chat on WhatsApp, Messenger, and Telegram without needing to go to the apps on the browser. "We believe this needs to change", he said. The company is now bringing the same Opera Neon features or changes to its Main Opera Browser. These services are available from a new sidebar and can work as overlays or side-by-side with the current tab. A meager market share never stopped the developers at Opera from throwing new features at the wall and seeing what sticks, though.

But more importantly, Reborn includes some security and performance features, too.

Opera is way behind Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox in terms of userbase, but often brings nifty features to its browser.

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You can also have multiple chats going at the same time, and cycle between different messaging apps in the pinned chat window at the tap of a keyboard shortcut. Opera says the whole interface has been refreshed with a focus on consistency across platforms.

The Opera browser is reborn thanks to the power of messaging. There is also a menu button which will enable you to log out from messengers inside the browser itself.

Asked to justify its decision to whitelist these four particular sites, an Opera spokesperson explained to Ars Technica that none of them paid to be whitelisted, but Opera chose to do so "because they offer a good experience to users with ads on".