Opera Mini Browser 7: Basic is Beautiful

As mobile app aficionados, we sometimes forget that the bulk of mobile users don’t actually have smartphones. Insert incredulous gasp here. Opera hasn’t forgotten, as evidenced by their new mobile browser for basic phones, called the Mini 7 Browser. Take it away TechCrunch:

As expected, the new browser is aimed not at Apple and Android-based smartphones but more “basic” devices — specifically those built on Java ME, Nokia’s S60 and BlackBerry (yes, Opera categorizes RIM’s smartphone as basic). Opera is using the release to incorporate some new, key social features on a new Smart Page to increase the time spent by users on its own pages and in its browser.

The Smart Page contains several new features that are all about social browsing. For starters, it provides a one-page summary of news from a user’s Facebook and Twitter feeds, directly from the home page of the browser. Other features include links to a user’s most-visited sites; links to relevant content based on your browsing history; and suggestions for news sites to follow with the option of adding those to the Smart Page as well. The Smart Page will now also include other features Opera has long been using in past versions of its Opera browser such as Speed Dial shortcuts.

Not only is the browser much more socially integrated, but it is aimed very much at the wider market of non-smartphone users, the kind used by the majority of people in developing markets, and still widely in use in mature markets, too. This is still a growing area for Facebook and a crucial one to get right as it looks to keep growing while at the same time make money out of those traditionally low-cost users.

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