|FaceBerry? Facebook, BlackBerry Reportedly in Talks|
|By JOANNA STERN (@joannastern)||Oct 29, 2013, 3:25 PM|
Blackberry has spent the last few weeks speaking with potential buyers. According to reports, Lenovo is interested in the company, two of the founders of the company would like to purchase the remaining stock and Canadian company Fairfax Financial has already made a $4.7 billion bid for the struggling phone maker.
And the most recent potential suitor? Facebook.
According to the Wall Street Journal, BlackBerry executives visited Facebook's headquarters last week to "gauge its interest in a potential bid for the struggling company." Neither Facebook nor BlackBerry would comment directly on the report when reached by ABC News.
So, what could Facebook possibly want with the ailing smartphone maker? Two big things come to mind: messaging capabilities and hardware.
BlackBerry still holds an incredible amount of expertise in the e-mail and messaging space. Just last week the company released its BlackBerry Messenger iPhone and Android app, finally bringing its once wildly popular messaging service to other phones.
Of course, it's a bit too late for BlackBerry to win over the mobile message market again, in part because Facebook's mobile messaging capabilities helped break BlackBerry's dominance years ago. Facebook has put a huge focus on its Messenger app and messaging apps in the last year, adding features like Chat Heads and stickers.
Then, of course, there is BlackBerry's smartphone hardware business. Earlier this year, Facebook released its Facebook Home software, which placed the social network's services front and center on Android phones. Along with the software, Facebook teamed up with HTC to release the HTC First phone. The phone was far from a hit, receiving poor reviews amid reports of slow sales.
Still, it represented Mark Zuckerberg's vision of providing a mobile experience that was built around Facebook. To that end, BlackBerry's BB10 software also has a social core, integrating with Facebook and other social networks throughout the operating system.
Sure, when the first BlackBerry was sold in 1999, Zuckerberg was a mere 15 years old, but the companies might not be an entirely unlikely pair after all. Of course, there's no telling what will happen in the next few weeks -- where BlackBerry will land at this point is anyone's guess.