Facebook is reportedly in “advanced talks” to purchase the free GPS service Waze, according to a recent report from the Israeli business publication Calcalist. The report indicates that the acquisition could set Facebook back somewhere between $800 million and $1 billion, and claims that following six months of discussion, the two companies are now close to signing off on the deal.
As a reminder, $1 billion in cash and shares is precisely what Facebook paid for Instagram, the picture-sharing social network, back in April 2012. Since then, Facebook has gone on to make a number of further high profile acquisitions, including Acrylic Software and Parse. The acquisition of Waze, however, would potentially allow the social network to integrate GPS features within the Facebook platform, in some capacity.
At the minute, Waze has around 45 million users, and in 2012 alone 90 million traffic reports were shared as smartphone owners drove a total of 6 billion miles. The community-driven service has certainly increased in popularity following its launch, and has particularly flourished on iOS following the Apple Maps app debacle. As such, we even heard in January that Apple could snap up Waze, though these rumors did not develop further.
If Facebook does purchase Waze, it wouldn’t necessarily mean the death of the free app. Instagram, after all, is still going strong one year following its acquisition, even though in-app advertisements are expected to arrive in the near future.
A Facebook-owned Waze would nevertheless leave iDevice owners feeling uneasy, however, since the ball would be in Zuckerberg’s court.
We’ll keep you updated with further news concerning this story as we receive it.
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