Menlo Park to Israel is a long trip. So what were Facebook executives doing halfway across the world, meeting with executives from fast-growing traffic app Waze? Israeli news site Globes has a couple of ideas:
The purpose of the talks is not known, but the two companies are reportedly headed for collaboration, possibly involving the use of Waze’s application via Facebook. Alternatively, Facebook may acquire Waze.
Please note that there is precious little actual evidence that Facebook is really kicking the tires on an acquisition. (Even if the report of a meeting is true, it’s entirely possible they were just in the neighborhood and felt like stopping by, for that matter.)
But it’s certainly a tantalizing possibility. Waze would be the social network’s third Israeli acquisition, after Face.com (in June) and Snaptu (in 2011). The app isn’t Instagram-level ubiquitous just yet, but the numbers aren’t too shabby either: 20 million subscribers in 45 countries, and that’s having doubled over the course of six months. And, as VentureBeat recently pointed out, the app is wildly popular in its homeland:
“No-one uses Google Maps here, or iPhone maps,” says Eli, one of our hosts for the week. “Everyone uses Waze. Look – here’s how many Waze users are on the road right now…” His screen is covered with pink, smiley speech bubbles, each one contributing to the traffic Hive Mind.
Alternatively, the two companies could be cooking up some kind of partnership meant to help Facebook’s fumbling in the dark for a mobile strategy. We’ve reached out to Waze for comment and will update if we hear anything back.
Of course, it’s entirely possible Facebook executives were merely looking for some sort of directional app that could point the company towards a better stock price. Hey-o!