It is official; Google has confirmed its acquisition of Israeli map-software provider Waze today for over $1 billion. It was announced and confirmed from both parties in corresponding blog posts.
Waze collects input from around 50 million users to provide succinct directions, traffic displays, and hazard details. The acquisition would ensure that all of these features, plus a social function, would be implemented into Google’s navigation tool.
“Nothing practical will change here at Waze,” says Noam Bardin. “We will maintain our community, brand, service, and organization – the community hierarchy, responsibilities, and processes will remain the same.”
The move might seem odd at first glance, because Google has such a dominant stance on the mobile navigation programs, but look closer. Facebook and Apple have long been at the behest of Google mobile navigation programs, and if they got their hands on Waze, they would be able to erode Google’s foothold on the market.
“We are excited about the prospect of enhancing Google Maps with some of the traffic update features provided by Waze and enhancing Waze with Google’s search capabilities,” says Brian McClendon, Vice President, Geo, at Google.
The trend, for consumers, is shifting away from personal computers towards tablets and smartphones. Google wants to remain top dog and further extend its reach over Facebook and Apple.