The feature, which is available today as part of version 69 of the browser, is accessible simply by clicking the Twitter icon on the left-hand side of the browser, where you’ll already find icons for Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram.
Clicking on the icon opens a pane that basically delivers a slender version of the Twitter website, where you can view your timeline, check notifications, read and respond to DMs and do everything else you can do on the main website.
Opera claims it’s “the first major browser to add built-in Twitter in the sidebar”, although that’s a little bit of a stretch. Vivaldi – created by the developer of the original Opera browser – has offered similar Web Panels for some time, where you’ve been able to create panes for Twitter or any of the other social networks.
Those with long memories might also remember Flock, a Chromium-based browser which had built-in support for various social networks, including Facebook and Twitter. That project has long since been abandoned and Flock is now a team communications platform.
Opera is the eighth most used desktop browser in the world, according to the latest figures from NetMarketShare, with a share of 1.3%. Chrome remains the only desktop browser with a double-digit market share, far outpunching the rest of the market with 68.3% of users. Firefox is its closest rival with a mere 8% of the market.
Opera also offers a version of its browser aimed at gamers, called Opera GX, which has integrations for gamer-friendly social networks such as Twitch and Discord.