Waze, a GPS navigation application that updates with user-submitted traffic information, has grown quite well since adding Facebook integration. The social network put Waze in the developer blog spotlight Thursday, highlighting the app’s use of Facebook login to drive traffic.
Waze allows Facebook users on iOS and Android to easily connect and share data about traffic. If a Waze user sees that traffic is bumper-to-bumper because of an accident, that user can alert others. Additionally, Waze users can share road trip plans with Facebook friends and post about cheap gas stations in the area (or expensive ones to avoid), making it a more comprehensive navigation app. Waze has 65,000 active content contributors in 110 different countries.
Waze reported to Facebook that 30 precent of its active users are Facebook-connected. Of those users, 75 percent connected through Facebook login when they first signed up. The company found that Facebook users drive 50 percent more often and for 50 percent more miles than non-Facebook connected Waze users. By March 2013, the Waze community had doubled in just eight months.
Thursday, Facebook featured Waze on its developer blog, championing the app for its social acumen:
Waze also has some fun features to keep people engaged. For example, Waze keeps a running tally of the distance you drive using the app, and drivers can “level up” from their starting status as “Baby Wazers.” As they graduate to higher levels, Wazers get different icons and earn more reporting capabilities and influence (for example, once a driver has traveled 100 miles using Waze, they can customize the mood of their avatar). This progress is recorded on a scoreboard, and among groups of friends, the competition to rack up the highest mileage can be fierce. Waze users drove a total of 6 billion miles in 2012.
Some activities are posted as Facebook stories via open graph, including when a Wazer reports an event on the road, and when they thank another Wazer for providing information.
Readers: Do you use Waze?