As more and more people are relying on their smartphones to get them from one place to another, more and more companies are finding ways to take advantage. Waze, a mobile satellite navigation application company, announced a location based advertising platform that should work to benefit local businesses. The company says that its 30 million users will soon be able to see advertisements based on where and when they are using their navigation app.
Waze was put together in 2009 in Israel and uses satellite navigation signals from their users’ smartphones to create up to the minute maps and traffic data. This data is then beamed out to other application users, so that they have the benefit of this real time traffic data. Waze says that as the quality of the traffic data increases, the more people actually use the network. The company is adding new users at a rather fast rate, jumping from seven million to 30 million over the last year.
Waze is completely free for users and the company hopes that this location based advertising will give the company a stream of revenue that they can rely on. While there have been privacy concerns when it comes to these kinds of location based advertising, Waze thinks it is getting around these kinds of problems by not identifying the drivers, though users can have their names displayed if they want.
There are those who believe that Waze may have jumped into this kind of advertising a little too quickly. "Waze is right to start building up location based advertising, but it shouldn't have inflated expectations. This is a busy and confusing field, and many advertisers will stick with the big brand players, such as Google and Facebook," said analyst Martin Garner from British consultancy CCS Insight.
Waze has benefitted greatly from the failure of Apple Maps after the release of iOS 6. Apple CEO Tim Cook tried to quell the anger over their mapping service by suggesting that users adopt other mapping applications on their new iPhones.
Edited by Brooke Neuman