Rumours are circulating about the possibility of Facebook potentially buying up Waze, a mobile traffic map, for a cool $1 billion which has left many people wondering why Facebook are so interested in this map.
The Waze map uploads information from different users to allow people to know about traffic problems in their local area. Basically everyone who contributes to the map is able to help out other drivers and in return receive traffic information themselves to be able to travel faster and more efficiently along their route.
But just why this is so useful to Facebook has been discussed by wired.com in an article which explores the potential Facebook could have through this map service.
According to wired.com Facebook will be looking at the tracking behind the map rather than the map itself.
Anyone uploading information onto Waze not only contributes to the new traffic information on the map but the map also automatically uploads your locations to then determine speed and time equations for journey.
The location update on Waze is very similar to a check in on Facebook. The check in option on Facebook allows people to chose to let others know where they are by “checking in” and then sharing this with their friends and followers on Facebook.
The main difference between a check in on Facebook and a location update on Waze is that the location updates on Waze are anonymous but Facebook could potentially change this to then drive more advertising onto the site.
Revenue can be generated through check ins on Facebook as advertisers target people who bare ion specific areas and adverts for discounts in local restaurants, coupons for local shops and other local specific promotions can be targeted at Facebook users. This makes check ins very valuable but Facebook has always struggled to encourage people to check in where ever they go.
Through Waze, Facebook have the potential to encourage people to share their locations on the maps to help others and this could be the key that the social network have been long looking for to encourage the check ins.
There has not been any official response from Waze or from Facebook about the buying of the company but with rumours flying it does seem that it will only be a matter of time before we see at the very least a collaboration between the two companies.