You can now add Facebook to the ever-growing list of companies considering a buyout bid for fledging smartphone-maker BlackBerry.
The Wall Street Journal reported that executives from BlackBerry met with with Facebook last week to discuss a potential bid. Citing unnamed people familiar with the matter, the report clarified that it's unclear whether Facebook is interested in placing a bid.
Beyond the obvious benefits for BlackBerry, the meeting between BlackBerry and Facebook seems to indicate that the social network is still interested in building its own smartphone. Rumours of a similar nature have persisted in recent years.
Facebook partnered with HTC to launch the HTC First last April. It's an Android smartphone pre-loaded with Facebook's own user interface layer called Facebook Home. Critics widely panned the phone, and many consumers - who wanted a Facebook-built phone - were left underwhelmed.
Even if Facebook doesn't go the hardware route, half of its sales come from ads shown on wireless devices. It's therefore very dependent on other handset makers, such as Apple and Samsung, as noted by The Wall Street Journal.
If Facebook bought Blackberry, it could launch its own phone, and then use it to distribute ads and collect data. This would of course go against what Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer at Facebook, has said in the past, emphasising that a Facebook Phone is the "wrong strategy".
BlackBerry introduced BlackBerry 10 earlier this year in an attempt to help its outlook, but we now know that it didn't work as planned. BlackBerry lost almost $1 billion in just 90 days, and it only sold 3.7 million BlackBerry smartphones (the majority were BlackBerry 7 handsets).
The company is now looking to sell itself as a whole or in parts, and it has even formed a committee that'll explore strategic options in the hope of selling itself by November. Several companies have shown interest in BlackBerry, and Pocket-lint has even compiled a round-up of all the linked suitors.