Facebook roundup: Opera, Dubai, friend lists, Pinterest, more

Facebook to buy Opera browser? – Facebook is reportedly interested in purchasing Opera Software, which operates a desktop and mobile browser. Pocket-lint.com and The Next Web have sources saying Opera is talking to potential buyers and Facebook could be among those.

Facebook to open Dubai office – Facebook is set to open its first Middle East office in Dubai next week.

Facebook asks users to ‘star’ their friends –  Facebook is reportedly testing a new way to prompt to users add friends to their “Close Friends” list by suggesting that they “star” them, according to VentureBeat. The “Close Friends” feature, which helps users see more of their closest friends’ status updates, has been around since September 2011. Facebook has recently been experimenting with ways to get users to take advantage of the feature. [Image via VentureBeat]

Pinterest hires Facebook’s Schnitt – Pinterest hired Barry Schnitt, formerly of Facebook and Google, to be the head of communications and public policy.

Microsoft releases Windows Phone update – Microsoft released version 2.5 of its Facebook for Windows Phone app, bringing it more in line with its Android and iOS offerings. Among other usability improvements, Windows Phone users can now Like comments and view threaded messages.

Facebook introduces user restrictions for Open Graph stories – Developers can now limit their Open Graph app stories to users who meet certain restrictions such as age, country or certain kinds of content, according to Facebook’s Developer Blog. For example, a video app can specify that stories published by the app only appear in countries in which they have launched or to users who are over a certain age.

Timeline redesign being tested – Facebook is testing a redesigned Timeline layout that overlays some user information on top of their cover photo and reduces the size of links to users’ photos and map, for example. The redesign seems aimed at making more aspects of Timeline visible at one time without scrolling. [Image from AllFacebook]