Why Waze may be the next big thing in social mediaSocial Media 101 Blog
Courtesy of Maximize Social Media, LLC
Wow! That is the official word on Waze, one of the hottest new start-up sites in existence and probably the most elusive. How elusive? Well, ask nearly anyone on the street if they have heard about Waze and you are likely to get the same answer from each of them “Waze – What’s that?” Don’t let the relative obscurity of this site fool you because Waze has gained the attention of some big names in technology including heavy-hitters like Facebook, Apple and potentially even Google. As a social media consulting firm we make it our business to keep your business “in the loop” and today’s article provides the inside scoop on what may become the most well funded, hottest start-up and competitive acquisition site that nearly nobody has ever heard of! Keep reading to find out what all the fuss is about and how Waze may change the way you and everyone else does things in the very new future!
Of course, inquiring minds want to know; what is Waze and who cares? It’s instructive to answer this in reverse. Who cares? A lot of very big technology companies who may be in the midst of competing for a buy-out (or maybe not according to Google) even as this goes to press. Rumor has it that technology giants like Facebook, Apple and maybe even Google (who denies it…but Google has a history of denying nearly all pending acquisitions which later have a habit of becoming reality). Clearly there is intense interest in this all but unknown start-up at least among major tech giants with negotiations continuing despite a confirmed offer of up to $1 Billion from Facebook.
What about capital? Well, Waze has already attracted significant financial support in the realm of nearly 70 million in VC Funding from well known and highly diversified VC firms. Waze has offices in the United States as well as Israel (Waze was created in Israel – one of the world’s hot-spots for R&D technology) but has managed to attract the attention of venture capital funding across the globe.
So, what is behind this obvious show of intense support among tech giants and VC funding alike? Waze is a social traffic and navigation app (yes, an app!) which will allow drivers to share real-time read information and contribute to the “common good” by reporting accidents, road hazards and other pertinent information. According to Waze “Imagine 30 million drivers out on the roads, working together toward a common goal: to outsmart traffic and get everyone the best route to work and back…”
Social mediated traffic sounds like a good idea but is it really worth $1 Billion dollars (or more!)? Consider the fact that Instagram went for roughly $1B and then calculate the future potential of something like Waze to enact lasting change on our entire way of life….it’s a good guess that Waze is the start of big change. In fact, as a social media consulting firm we have reported on this exact trend in prior articles including the Internet of Things (IOM). Waze is perhaps one of the first of these brave new breeds of IOM app’s; where social media moves beyond a simple screen and instead, becomes a pervasive presence in society itself. People move within a social world where information is sent and received in real-time, powered by the integration of technology and people to generate the best and most up-to-date information possible.
Imagine a not so distant future where the Internet of Things has merged previously distinct segments of your day into a cohesive whole; for example, traffic. As you get into your car it automatically checks the pressure in your tires, tunes into your favorite Internet radio station and relays messages from your digital appointment book to provide a GPS map. Wave alerts you to road conditions including those of the weather, traffic reports and even potential ticket risk. You decide to take a slightly slower route and avoid the speed traps because cumulative research shows one road is especially likely to increase the risk of an accident or traffic ticket.
As you continue the drive, a real-time update on a road hazard is sent by 3 or more drivers who report a large pothole is coming up in the right lane a mile ahead; you switch into the left lane saving a potential re-alignment later in the week. A few miles up the road, a slow-down is reported on an entrance ramp…no problem! Waze calculates the best alternative route and updates your GPS unit to reflect the new destination.
As you pull into the parking garage, it automatically notifies you of available spaces in accordance to the size and fit of your vehicle along with pre-defined criteria such as security, access to disability parking, stairs and elevator.
After work you realize it’s time to fill-up the tank; Waze will point you to the cheapest gas station on your route as reported in real-time. After a quick stop to fill-up the tank, you see that a few other friends have just stopped in for a bite to eat at a restaurant a few blocks away. It’s a great way to avoid that rush hour traffic while getting in some face-time with family and friends.