Thanks to add-ons and extensions, modern browsers are capable of much more than just accessing websites. However, unless you know what you're looking for, finding useful tools isn't necessarily easy. Instead of relying solely on its extension marketplace, Opera hopes to claw back market share from Google Chrome by incorporating additional features into its eponymous software. We've already seen it roll out low-power mode and a fully-featured VPN, but now it's making things a lot more social by integrating messaging apps like WhatsApp, Messenger and Telegram into its sidebar.
The features are included in a new version of Opera, codenamed "Reborn." It takes a lot of inspiration from the company's experimental Neon browser, which debuted in January. Instead of using the web or desktop versions of your favorite messaging apps, Reborn neatly arranges them on the side of your browser window, allowing you to chat while you browse.
The feature works in two ways. First, you can pin the icons to the sidebar and click them when you feel the need to chat. The other option is to pin the chat window so that it sits alongside your current tab. If you want to share a photo you've found online, simply drag it to the messenger's icon and the browser will take care of the rest.
While messaging is the banner announcement, Reborn does come with a few additional features. The browser itself has been given a fresh look, with lighter tabs and improved icons. You can also switch between light and dark themes depending on your mood and control how the browser blocks ads. Opera says that while only three services are available at launch, it hopes to add more in the near future.