FACEBOOK is in talks to buy Waze, the social mapping app founded in Israel, for up to $1bn (£646m), according to local reports.
Tel Aviv-based newspaper Calcalist yesterday reported that Facebook is set to pay between $800m and $1bn for the startup, whose technology processes data from its users’ smartphones to create maps as well as a picture of traffic patterns.
The acquisition would be the biggest in the social network’s history, coming in at over the $715m Facebook spent on photo-sharing app Instagram last year.
Both Waze and Instagram have many of the same hallmarks, in that they have little or no revenues but a loyal smartphone user base.
Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg is making efforts to improve the company’s mobile services as users abandon PCs in favour of increasingly sophisticated smartphones with speedy internet connections.
Although the company does not have a mapping service to rival Google or Apple’s own apps, it has talked about introducing targeted mobile adverts based on where a user is.
The firms did not comment.