Google buys Waze
One Map App Joins Another.
Google buys Waze, this week for 1.03 Billion. That’s no small change right?, but actually it is.
Waze, if you are not familiar, is a crowd sourced map app. It allows users to create up-to-date changes on the map so that new roads, developments are more current. More important, is the ability to give minute to minute changes in traffic congestion, as users upload info about where accidents are binding the grid. I heard about Waze when I was waiting to here Rick Webb from Tumbler give a talk hear in Minneapolis at ARIA.
Until now, I have always used our local radio station KBEM 88.5 FM, which reports every 10 minutes during rush hour, delivered from the information produced by MNDOT, Minnesota Department of Transportation, but that does not help, as moment to moment, I need to make a quick determination as to what my next move needs to be, if I am running behind for an event.
So why would Google spend so much to buy a map app, when Google Maps has dominated Map use, for the last eight years? It’s what I have been telling business owners for some time, advertising is going to the mobile platform, in a BIG way. Getting in front of customers at the moment of decision is key, and Google knows it. 1.03B is small change in the big picture of mobile advertising.
Just think, your stuck in traffic, and as you look for why on Waze, an ad generated by your preferences, tells you the spot off the next exit has something your looking for. You consider getting off the road to wait it out, or to consider your next route. As a business, would you pass up that opportunity?
“We’re 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,” Google’s VP-geo Brian McClendon wrote in a company blog post announcing the acquisition.
If that blog link is not enough see more about Google’s last attempt to work with Facebook. This is the article “Google wanted Waze”