San Francisco (dpa) - Facebook is close to a $1 billion deal
to buy social mapping firm Waze, according to reports in the US and
Waze, an Israeli startup, has grown in popularity to some 40 million users with its free navigation tools and crowd-sourced traffic information.
Buying the mobile map service would enable Facebook to keep its users longer on its mobile app and boost its mobile ad revenue. It would also give Facebook its own mapping data - a potentially vital component of localized advertising.
The potential acquisition was first reported by the Israeli business site Calcalist and also by the New York Times.
The deal would rival the largest ever done by the social networking giant which last year paid $1 billion for the fast-growing mobile photo-sharing service Instagram.
Waze had previously been courted by Apple, whose own attempts at providing iPhone users with a mapping service ended in a debacle that boosted the status of the company's great rival Google, whose mapp applications is the standout industry leader. Apple reportedly withdrew from a deal for Waze when the company demanded $750 million.
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