In the past when you needed driving directions you would pull out one of those big paper map and take out a highlighter to map out your route. Than came Mapquest which let you print out turn-by-turn directions from your desktop. Now, with GPS systems and smartphones a digital voice can get you from point A to point B with the simple touch of a button. Well with a mobile app called Waze, a social twist has entered into the world of GPS navigation.
Waze, which was recently purchased by Google differs from traditional GPS software as it includes a crowd-sourcing component to it where it learns from users’ driving times to provide other users with routing and real-time traffic updates. This real-time data can make all the difference in the world on if you are going to get where you want to be on time or not.
Besides traffic updates Waze provides its users with information on accidents and speed traps. Similar to Foursquare social gaming component for checkins, Waze uses gaming conventions to further engage users.
For example, users can drive over icons of cupcakes and other road goodies located in certain locations to earn points. By having these games encourages users to utilize the app more often, which leads to more valuable road information for the users and the database, especially in areas where information is scarce.
In addition, Waze offers points every time a user reports traffic or road hazards. These points can be used to change the user’s avatar, and to “level up” one’s status in the community.
Besides paid advertising which Waze started offering in late 2012, it should be interesting if and how businesses will be able to integrate themselves with the app.
For more information on Waze and how social media is revolutionizing marketing contact The Interactive Imprint at 954-254-1650 or visit TheInteractiveImprint.com.