Opera Now Has 68 Million Users on Desktop, 232 Million on Mobile

Opera announced today that about 300 million people use its web browser across both desktop and mobile. (Update: The firm tells me the figures were audited.)

“We continued our innovation path and our user base continued to grow, our products received awards and user ratings continued upward,” Opera executive vice president Krystian Kolondra writes in the announcement. “We are grateful for all the positive feedback we have gotten and I am proud of what the browser team achieved in 2019.”

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Separate charts indicate that Opera usage on desktop grew from over 40 million people in early 2017 to 68 million by the end of 2019, and that Opera’s usage on mobile similarly grew, from over 150 million people in early 2017 to 232 million by the end of last year. The conveniently even amount that that adds up to is 300 million.

But is it accurate?

I guess that depends on a number of factors, including the relative sizes of those two markets, how Opera measures usage, and how many people use multiple browsers.

According to Netmarketshare, Opera is currently the 7th most popular desktop browser—behind Chrome, Firefox, IE, Edge, Safari, and something called Sogou Explorer—and has just 1.46 percent usage share. On mobile, the situation is even worse: Opera is in 10th place with just .46 percent market share. But if you combine its usage with that of Opera Mini, with .85 percent usage share, its overall usage is 1.31 percent, which would put it in 5th place behind Chrome, Safari, QQ, and Android Browser.

Let’s just look at that desktop figure to see how that pans out. If you accept that the desktop market is about 1.25 billion PCs and Macs overall, 68 million equates to about 5.4 percent usage share. (If the desktop is 1.5 billion PCs and Macs, then it’s about 4.5 percent usage share.) So I can only conclude that, all other things being equal, lots of people use multiple browsers.

I did the math because this immediately reminded me of Microsoft’s claims that it had 330 million active users of its Edge web browser about two and a half years ago. That claim was easily debunked using math. But the Opera claim is, I think, supportable, assuming you believe the multiple browser theory.

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Conversation 10 comments

  • jimchamplin

    Premium Member
    22 January, 2020 - 9:50 am

    <p>Apparently Sogou Explorer is a Chromium based browser made by a Chinese company that uses two engines, both Blink and…</p><p><br></p><p>… wait for it…</p><p><br></p><p>Trident.</p>

    • markld

      Premium Member
      25 January, 2020 - 12:37 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#515015">In reply to jimchamplin:</a></em></blockquote><p>Is Paul slipping a little, I don't think he knows Sogou Explorer, well neither did I?!</p><p>I had to even research Trident… Trident, holy moly, that goes all the way back to Internet Explorer 4.0 in the Fall '97. In the Microsoft Edge browser, it was superseded by its fork, EdgeHTML.</p>

      • Paul Thurrott

        Premium Member
        25 January, 2020 - 9:07 am

        I’m OK with my ignorance of Sougou Explorer. 🙂

  • cyclequark

    Premium Member
    22 January, 2020 - 10:01 am

    <p>I have Opera installed on a couple of machines. I was splitting my usage with Chrome just for Google properties like Gmail and Youtube. I use Firefox for eveything else. I am now deprecating Chrome, and I have been trying Opera, Chredge, and Brave. I am not sure where I will end up. </p>

  • c_j_martinez

    Premium Member
    22 January, 2020 - 11:37 am

    <p>Yeah I vote for the multiple browser theory. And the multiple non-synced machine theory too. I keep Opera on my PCs and Macs but only use it to test it occasionally. And since they’re not synced to an Opera account those could easily be counted as multiple users. </p>

  • tl_lives

    22 January, 2020 - 11:38 am

    <p>I actually use multiple browsers regularly. When doing my general news browsing around I use Opera with it's built in VPN active as it cuts alot of crap out of there. When I'm doing serious financial items (e.g. bill paying) i use Firefox exclusively. I use the Chredge for social media and such as I don't want the VPN there showing me places I'm not at. Then I use Chrome while at work (to make sure our software work correctly for the major browser) and occasionally at home when doing things with my Google account.</p>

  • klhyvcfxe2 vtni56y

    22 January, 2020 - 1:08 pm

    <p>I'm one of those folks who uses multiple browsers. But I quit using Opera after they disabled the ability to use third-party speed dial apps, since I have one I use across everything.</p>

  • IanYates82

    Premium Member
    22 January, 2020 - 4:09 pm

    <p>Multi-browser theory seems apt.</p><p><br></p><p>I use new Edge for my browsing now and use Opera for my dev work since it has the same engine &amp; debug tools. A church / state separation if you will.</p><p>I still have Chrome and Firefox installed but would launch each perhaps once every 3 months.</p><p><br></p><p>On mobile though it's Chrome 100% even though I have Edge installed and don't mind it. Not sure why I've done it that way but there you go :)</p>

  • Rycott

    Premium Member
    22 January, 2020 - 9:50 pm

    <p>I run just about every browser on my home PC. And at least 3 at work for dealing with things that have different requirements.</p><p><br></p><p>A lot of businesses we support need different browsers for different websites, though this is becoming less with Chromium pretty much winning now.</p>

  • mixedfarmer75

    Premium Member
    27 January, 2020 - 8:42 am

    <p>I have multiple browsers on all my devices. There is something to like about all of them. I tend to use Edge though 97.378% of the time. Really like the idea that Brave has and if the web buys into the idea of bat it might be great. I have my doubts though. Opera is nice on mobile, but so is Edge. The newest update really kicked it up a notch, imo. </p>

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