Google buys Waze to bring its social data to Google Maps
A couple weeks back, we took some time to talk to you about Waze, the crowd-sourced navigation app that compiles user-submitted data to let you find the fastest, least congested, and overall best routes around. At the time, rumors were flying all over concerning Waze’s interest in being acquired by a heavyweight like Facebook. As it turns out, Google manage to slide in with the winning bid, and today announced its acquisition of Waze.
So, what does this mean for the app? You may remember from our earlier look that we had some serious reservations about how a move like this might affect our feelings towards Waze. The good news is this doesn’t sound like the sky’s about to fall – Google is keeping the Waze team at home in Israel, and they’ll continue to operate separately, rather than just getting absorbed straight into Google’s operations. That’s not discounting the likelihood of seeing Waze content integrated with Google Maps (and after all, why else would Google purchase the company), but it sounds like there could still be some degree of autonomy that remains.
For the moment, we’ll just have to wait and see how this big news ends up impacting the stand-alone Waze app. So far, all Google’s mentioned is making Waze better at searching.