Google has acquired Waze, the Israel-based company behind the mapping app. Google was Waze’s choice over the likes of Facebook, who were apparently also interested.

On Tuesday the company announced “We are excited about the prospect of working with the Google Maps team to enhance our search capabilities and to join them in their ongoing efforts to build the best map of the world”. None of the terms of the deal have been disclosed but reports in recent days claimed that Google was close to a $1.3 billion deal.

Waze bought by Google

Waze was launched in 2009 and is a free app which makes money by showing users “location-based advertising”. It encourages its users to explore not very well known areas and then gives them fame among other people using the app.

It is thought that this acquisition could help Google improve its mapping services. Google said itself in a blog post that it planned to enhance Google Maps with some traffic update features provided by Waze. Meanwhile, in joining Google, Waze are able to keep their attention focused on the current users instead of the  lawyers and bankers associated with an IPO. For the time being, the product development team will continue to be based in Israel and operate seperately.

In a blog post Waze said “Google is committed to help us achieve our common goal and provide us with the independence and resources we need to succeed.” It continued, “Together, we can accelerate our mission to outsmart traffic. We will continue to make a real impact on drivers globally, helping them save time and money while making everyone’s daily commute a bit more efficient and fun.”

[Image via mthai.com]

SOURCE: http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57588731-93/google-buys-waze-in-bid-to-improve-mapping-services/