Crowd-sourced navigation app Waze has turned down an acquisition offer from Facebook, only say yes to a $1.3 Billion takeover from Google. Waze claim to have around 50 Million users that contribute to a global traffic data. This helps iPhone and Android users to avoid traffic congestion based on other user data.
The scope of Waze has been growing along with their user base. You can navigate to the cheapest petrol station, powered by community-shared petrol prices. While some still question the value of sharing online, this is once instance that has real, direct benefits to others. The incentive of course is that you will one day benefit from the big data set and that encourages you to share.
While almost every navigation app claims to be smart about routing based on traffic, most rely on delayed news reports and traffic information from transit authorities. It’s easy to see why they were a hot acquisition target with examples like Waze Map Editors Help Drivers Get Around Collapsed Bridge and Damage from Oklahoma Tornadoes.
Google say that they will leave the Waze team to continue their good work autonomously. With Google signing the checks, you can expect them to leverage Google+ while Windows Phone users shouldn’t hold their breath for support.