Facebook in Talks to Acquire Waze: Your Daily Commute Is About to Get Social
It’s no surprise when we hear that Facebook is acquiring some company with a product or service that done well in its market. For example, Instagram, the mobile photo sharing site that allows users to upload, modify, and share images, was acquired by Facebook back in April 2012 after numbers showed that many people preferred Instagram for daily activities over Facebook. Now it’s time for the infamous social networking site to make its way to the mobile navigation market and purchase Waze, an Israel-based mobile navigation company, to ensure that Facebook users don’t miss out on the ability to make their morning commutes more social.
According to Reuters, Waze has definitely caught the attention of big companies like Blue Run Ventures and Qalcomm Inc., and has raised approximately $67 million in seed funding to date.
Waze works by allowing commuters to upload their real-time location data to the app, sharing real-time traffic data among Waze users during their treks — like a “check-in” feature for traffic, accidents, checkpoints, and the like.
But why would Facebook want this type of information? In addition to the obvious reason that Facebook wants to buy up more valuable mobile real estate, maybe … just maybe … Facebook wants to enable its users to make their dreadful daily commutes more enjoyable by uniting social sharing with traffic.
According to the United States Census Bureau, there are 600,000 “megacommuters” in the U.S. who travel approximately 90 minutes and 50 miles to work; 8.1 percent of U.S. workers have commutes of 60 minutes or longer, with an average one-way daily commute of 25.5 minutes. The numbers speak for themselves: the drive to work is a major downer, especially when traffic is at a standstill and drivers have no idea why. Facebook’s acquisition of Waze would allow commuters to connect with each other during their travels to report, share, and comment on location-based traffic information.
Soon, you may be able to update your status, share the latest news, and get the traffic report all while scrolling through your Facebook feed over your morning cup of joe. Life complete!
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Leah Arnold-Smeets, owner of Emiko Consulting, is passionate about helping entrepreneurs capitalize on their strengths, improve on their weaknesses, and reach their full potential. Leah obtained her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration & Entrepreneurial Studies from the University of Southern California (USC).