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Inside Scoop: Rumors Facebook could be navigating a mapping dealCNET's Kara Tsuboi and Donna Tam discuss rumors of Facebook acquiring the popular mapping service Waze. Find out why this could be an appealing deal for the social-media giant and how it could better position Facebook to compete with Apple and Google.
-Hey, everyone. Welcome to the Inside Scoop. I'm CNET's Kara Tsuboi joined by staff writer, Donna Tam. And today, we're talking about Facebook supposedly in talks to buy Waze. First of all, tell us what Waze is. -It's a mapping app that is built on like a social layer. So, everyone that uses the app helps contribute to the data on the app. So, it does things like track traffic, track if there's an accident. People also put in like where the police cars are which people seem to like a lot. And so, that's what it does and it's really about like having mobile data and using mobile data to create this network. -So, why is a company like Waze of interest to a company like Facebook? -Well, Facebook wants to be big on mobile. That's really important to them and this would be an easy way for them to acquire a whole mapping system that's built on big data and people contributing data to it. -Absolutely. To find out more about their users, right? -Yeah. -How far along are we in these talks? And is there a dollar amount put on the company? -So, they've been in talks allegedly for at least like six months and I've heard as high as a billion dollars in terms of price tag for Waze which is pretty big and it could rival, you know, Instagram which was initially in talks for a billion as well. -That's right. That was last fall at some point. -Yeah. -So, this would be like the next big acquisition for Facebook? -Yes. Right. -And Waze is an Israeli company-- -Uh-huh. -Not that that matters much, you know, there are people here in the U.S. But-- -Yes. -And Waze and Facebook have also teamed up in the past. Isn't that right where if you're a Waze user, you can share that data on your Facebook page? -Right. And actually, Waze is one of the companies that Facebook spotlights. Sometimes, they'll pick up certain apps that are doing particularly well on their network and they'll say, "Hey, here's an example of how well-- -Uh-huh. -a mobile product can be using Facebook-- using Facebook's platform." And so, Waze is one of those companies that they've spotlighted. -Interesting. -Uh-huh. -Obviously, having mapping for Facebook is huge, but how do you think it positions them with other big tech giants right now in the valley? -Yeah. Well, they certainly wanna catch the Google. And everyone thinks maps, they think Google, right? -Uh-huh. -And so, this would be a great way for them to get a leg up on that. Also, in terms of like mobile advertising, you know, Google beats Facebook in that, but this could certainly help them catch up if they can beef up their mobile components. -So, would you say that, a year ago, Waze would have even been on Facebook's radar? -Yeah. I mean, it's hard to say because like if it wasn't for Apple's maps being such a, like, horrendous disaster-- -Disaster. -then maybe Facebook won't even have noticed that there is this mapping app because Google is so dominant in that-- in that field. But Apple decided to go for it and, you know, it really brought the-- it really brought the rise of Waze. -And that was about, what, six months ago, last fall at some point? -Yeah, yeah. -Uh-huh. Okay. Well, we'll see what happens. Thank you, Donna Tam. I'm Kara Tsuboi. Thanks for watching the Inside Scoop.