Facebook said to have met with BlackBerry over possible buyout bid

Facebook-flavored BlackBerry, or vice versa?

The list of potential BlackBerry suitors grew by one today thanks to whispers from "people familiar with the matter."

According to sources of the Wall Street Journal, Facebook (yes, Facebook) met with execs from BlackBerry last week.

The folks from the hard-luck hardware maker reportedly jetted to California to get a read on the social network's interest in putting down an offer for the Canadian company.

That's about all there is on the matter, and it's unclear if Facebook is serious about bidding beyond taking the meeting.

Could we see a BlackBerry-flavored Facebook phone?

At first glance a deal between the savvy Facebook and sapped-out BlackBerry sounds doubtful, but if the cards fall into place, it could make a heap of sense.

Many consider the next logical step for Facebook is to develop its own branded hardware, and having BlackBerry's patents and assets would be a massive step towards making this happen.

The HTC First was a Facebook phone of sorts, but owning BlackBerry would give Facebook the chance to go whole hog. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has called developing a handset "the wrong strategy" for the company, but statuses, as it were, can change.

The Journal speculated Facebook would be most interested in BlackBerry patents covering security-network technology and smartphone components. BlackBerry is reportedly open to selling parts of its business.

Facebook could also be keen on the sizzling BlackBerry Messenger, which has raked in 20 million users on Android and iOS in one week.

The upsides are legitimate, though Facebook would have to deal with BlackBerry's limp image. The company reportedly has no debt, which is big check in the plus column.

We'll keep an ear out for further developments.

Michelle Fitzsimmons

Michelle was previously a news editor at TechRadar, leading consumer tech news and reviews. Michelle is now a Content Strategist at Facebook.  A versatile, highly effective content writer and skilled editor with a keen eye for detail, Michelle is a collaborative problem solver and covered everything from smartwatches and microprocessors to VR and self-driving cars.