May 14, 2013

Facebook turns to Israeli startup for stronger GPS services

Software mergers and acquisitions are becoming more popular in the business world, especially as technology continues to evolve. In order to better meet customer needs, companies of all sizes are trying to improve their products and services by keeping up with the latest changes.

One such potential move is the social networking site Facebook acquiring Israeli-based startup Waze. The latter company is a mobile navigation service.

According to The New York Times, technology companies—including Apple, Google and Microsoft—have all been trying to improve their location-based advertising and services. As Waze takes real-time information, including GPS data, Facebook could create more targeted ads.

"Facebook has been trying a variety of strategies to increase the amount of time that its users spend on its site, particularly on mobile phones," The Times explained. "Last month, it introduced a new interface for Android smartphones called Facebook Home, and on Thursday the company said that about one million users had downloaded the software."

Brian Blau, a research director at technology research firm Gartner, told The Times that with the assistance of Waze, Facebook is making a strong investment in its future. While the company might not integrate the information immediately, it would help it to eventually deliver contextual advertising.

Business Insider spoke with several inside sources, who claimed that the acquisition could benefit Facebook in several different ways, including strengthening its Maps application, improving local search or even just supplying more mobile customers.

Forbes reported that while nothing official has been announced, the technology acquisition could total between $800 million and $1 billion.