Google and Facebook Square Off
Aspiring app developers and interactive designers, take note. There are bidding wars taking place all over the world as we speak that are reshaping the look and feel of the internet as we have known it. They’re also padding the bank accounts of people just like yourself who make their living developing applications – and who knows? It might just be your very own creation that’s up next for Google and Facebook.
For an excellent case in point stripped straight from the headlines, all you have to do is take a look at Waze. One of the most popular traffic and navigation applications on the market today, Waze was recently the focus of a major bidding war between Google and Facebook. The two internet behemoths, both eager to capitalize on that success, went head to head in an effort to get their hands on the application, which was developed by an Israeli startup company in 2008.
What is Waze and Why is Everyone So Excited About It?
Originally called Linqmap, Waze is a GPS-enabled navigation app that utilizes turn-by-turn directions to help people get from one location to the next. Not so remarkable sounding at first glance, it’s what else Waze does that really set it apart from the rest of the navigation apps already on the market. Instead of just mapping out routes based on static maps, Waze also incorporates the real time submissions of the user community to alert others to traffic conditions.
Google versus the World in Mapping Dominance
Google wound up winning the bidding war, besting Facebook and forking over $1.1 billion dollars for the highly sought after application (which, it has been suggested, Apple was also privately eyeing for its own purposes). With Google Maps currently holding the crown as the biggest and most accurate online mapping presence, it is believed the next logical step will be to incorporate Waze into its already existing maps program to distance itself even further from the rest of the pack. This may not be that difficult to accomplish, considering its already existing superiority to other map services – you might remember that Apple was widely criticized for disabling Google Maps on its devices and instead pushing Apple Maps, which turned into an unmitigated disaster when numerous users reported getting lost when trying to make use of it. Apple eventually turned that around, but it was a black eye that cemented the superiority of Google Maps.
Buyouts Galore Could Mean Huge Opportunities for Developers and Startups
The acquisition of Waze by Google is just one of a number of highly lucrative buyouts and takeovers that are occurring among some of the largest web presences in the world. Not too long ago, Yahoo made a bold move and scooped up the highly popular micro-blogging platform Tumblr. Interestingly enough, that buyout came with a similar price tag of $1.1 billion.
So what does Google’s buyout of Waze mean for the average application developer? Quite a bit, when you think about it. First, it is a highly visible example of precisely how companies like Google (and Facebook, and Apple, and any other megalithic online presence you can name) are constantly on the hunt for the “next big thing.” The seeming wellspring of creativity that exists in the application market is making the job of these companies much easier – and ultimately, is pointing to highly lucrative possibilities in the field of application development and interactive design.
Seizing the Opportunity
If you’re interested in increasing your visibility as an app developer or a fulltime interactive designer, Artisan Talent can help. With a constantly growing network of businesses seeking professionals to perform a variety of services – from web design to app development – Artisan can help get your name out there. Looking for a freelance web designer job or an opportunity to exercise your app design chops? Contact us today to learn more about the Google and Facebook wars.
Vince F is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.
Artisan Talent is a Digital, Marketing and Creative Staffing Firm placing talent in jobs perfectly matched with their skills all over the US.