Facebook and Google bidding for travel app firm Waze

Posted on May 29, 2013

 

Satellite navigation app firm Waze is thought to be the subject of a major bidding war between Facebook and Google.

Just over two weeks ago, it became apparent that Facebook had put forward a bid of $1bn for the company with the intention of integrating Waze’s ‘social travelling’ element into its own offering. That initial bid, however, seems to have been turned down, and Google has now declared interest.

Furthermore, Apple currently sources data for its iOS Maps application from Waze and the links between the two could be affected if a buyout is confirmed. It is thought Apple made a bid of $500m for the travel app firm in January – perhaps with the intention of avoiding such a conflict.

Waze started in 2007 in Israel but the firm eventually moved to the U.S. It offers smartphone owners a free application which uses a GPS signal and the input of other users to provide a comprehensive satellite navigation service.

The social geography element of Waze’s service would no doubt be useful to both Facebook and Google. For Google, the app could improve the social appeal of its Maps function, perhaps providing further opportunities for integration with its social media offering, Google+.

After the recent purchase of photography app Instagram, Facebook is also looking to increase the dominance it has over the mobile market.

Either way, a buyout would no doubt open new doors for both businesses and internet marketing agencies which may be looking to focus specifically on a local target audience.

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