In the past couple of months, we’ve seen rumors heat up about Facebook and Google trying to buy the social mapping company Waze. The rumors can finally end today as Google has announced that it has acquired Waze for an estimated price of $1.3 billion.
Google hopes to retain its maps dominance with the purchase of Waze. This purchase also allows Google access to Waze’s 28 million users who take part in crowd-sourcing traffic information. The brilliance of Waze comes from its passionate users who treat it as a social network of sorts. You can earn points by driving and reporting on traffic, accidents, gas prices, or even speed cameras. All of this data is extremely valuable to Google, since they can update their maps more quickly with user submitted info.
Brian McClendon, a Vice President at Google, writes in a blog post, “The Waze community and its dedicated team have created a great source of timely road corrections and updates. We welcome them to Google and look forward to working with them in our ongoing effort to make a comprehensive, accurate and useful map of the world.”
There’s no mention if Google will shutter Waze and simply add its features into Google Maps.
[Source: Google Blog]