In June 2013, Google made a major move in the collaborative economy space with its acquisition of Waze, the community-based traffic and navigation app. The app’s unique interactive features reward users for reporting up-to-date travel information, which it accumulates into one user-driven database of live traffic, police and accident information. The navigation app, developed by an Israeli startup, has built a strong fanbase over the past few years.
How did these users react to the purchase of Waze by the Silicon Valley search giant?
Using our social media analytics platform, ForSight, we looked at how users discussed the app during the two months after news broke of the acquisition. For this analysis, we analyzed over 114,000 on-topic posts and excluded all irrelevant discussion, e.g. automated tweets sent from the Waze app.
At first, responses were largely negative, as criticisms of the acquisition accounted for more than half of online conversation on the days following the announcement. Some Waze users, who were concerned with changes in privacy and in functionality, even expressed intent to delete the app.
Despite the initial negative response, the following weeks were dominated by praise for the app. The “general praise” portion of the conversation has increased by 74% over the course of the last two months, and now accounts for 55% of the total discussion.
In addition, users called out specific features that they feel distinguish Waze from other navigational apps. Around 5% claimed that it helped them avoid traffic and save time, while another 7% specifically praised the app’s police location feature.
— Leanne K (@This_Journey) July 7, 2013
Overall, 86% of the total social conversation about Waze since the Google acquisition has been positive. Though some have revealed skepticism, most users are very supportive and continue to be the driving force behind the community-based navigation app.
Has the acquisition impacted your perception of the Waze brand? For more insight into consumer perceptions through social media analysis, download our Discovering Brand Affinity Case Study.