According to separate reports from The Wall Street Journal and Calcalist, Facebook is currently in "serious" talks to acquire popular navigation app Waze. Estimates for how much Facebook is willing to pay range between $800 million and $1 billion, suggesting that Mark Zuckerberg and Co. see big value in the software. Waze is a turn-by-turn navigation app that incorporates real-time traffic data from its million of users, alerting drivers of accidents, closed roads, and other delays. The company describes its app as "a pioneer of crowdsourced maps, traffic, and road info." Waze also happens to place a heavy focus on social networking and location sharing, which could be part of what prompted Facebook to pull out its checkbook.
The notion that Facebook would view Waze's value equal to that of Instagram (which it famously paid $1 billion for) is somewhat surprising, however. Waze has been the subject of numerous acquisition rumors in recent months. Shortly after the release of iOS 6, Apple was said to be interested in purchasing the company to help improve its homegrown Maps app that was heavily criticized at launch. When we contacted Waze for comment, a spokesperson told The Verge that the company doesn't comment on rumors or speculation.