Last we heard of Waze, the GPS app was the target of a $1 billion acquisition bid from Facebook. Neither Facebook nor Waze, which is based in Israel, confirmed the rumor, but the whole thing made a lot of sense: Waze is a community-driven mapping application, and with the right amount of finessing, it could be integrated into the existing Facebook infrastructure.
But now comes word that Google, increasingly a competitor of Facebook's, is also interested in snapping up Waze. According to a new report in Reuters, Google has been in conversation with reps at Waze, although the discussions remain "fluid and could change in tenor at any time." Google has not commented; nor has Waze.
So what would Google want with Waze? Well, it might be a simple (but expensive) power grab: By snapping up the company, it could prevent Facebook from getting its hands on the Waze app (and thus threatening Google's own Maps app).
"Around 37 percent of the total user base is considered 'active' — a.k.a. people who use the app regularly — and the company says those users spend 440 minutes per month in the app," Tsukayama writes. "It’s the kind of engagement that could look very attractive to companies bent on improving their mapping technology and making real-time social information part of their users’ everyday commutes."
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