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Facebook thought to be close to buying Waze

Where there is a will
Thu May 09 2013, 14:55
A Facebook logo

SOCIAL NETWORK Facebook reportedly has a cheque with the Israeli upstart Waze's name on it.

According to various reports the social network is going to pay somewhere in the region of $800m to $1bn for the firm, which offers mobile satellite navigation and GPS directioneering.

Facebook hasn't confirmed this, but the purchase of such software would probably slot very nicely into its business.

The website has a billion users, many of whom spend a decent amount of their lives clicking through its webpages. Adding navigation services to the pack could make sense and would have end user and business benefits.

We've contacted Waze to see if it is doing what Facebook is not, and discussing this rumoured deal with the media.

So far confirmation comes from three websites in Israel that are convinced that the deal is as good as done without due diligence.

Waze uses its network of users to create a crowdsourced navigation system. While drivers can bark directions at it, they can also tell it of road problems.

It reckons that it has some 45 million data points, which other websites call users, picking up and sharing the information that its drivers need.

Waze and Facebook are not strangers and when the latter announced its Home system for Android phones the Israeli firm was proud to see its logo including on the marketing and promotional material.

"We are honored to receive this kind of recognition from Facebook. For that we want to give a big thanks to our community for making Waze as popular and well recognized as it is today," it said at the time.

"We have lots of exciting things planned so stay tuned Wazers because the best is yet to come!" µ


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