Facebook now use Nokia’s Here maps
Who will end up buying Here maps from Nokia? That hasn’t been sorted out, yet Facebook is apparently not waiting around for a deal to shake out. As TechCrunch notes, Facebook already inked a deal of its own and has begun using Here’s maps on the mobile version of its site, as well as in Facebook Messenger and Instagram on Android. Facebook also appears to be using Here’s geocoding behind the scenes to help users identify and tag locations in posts. It was previously using Microsoft’s Bing in some of these places. In a statement, Facebook said the change is “to give us more control and flexibility in delivering a consistent maps experience.”
Nokia’s been shopping around its Here division since last month according to a report inBloomberg. It spent $8.1 billion buying the maps business in 2008, but it’s been unprofitable. Nonetheless, it has an enormous database of location and business data, something that might seem quite attractive to a company like Facebook. Nokia has also said to been pitching the sale of the site to Apple, Amazon, Baidu, Sirius XM, and even German carmakers. It’s unclear what would happen to this arrangement with Facebook if Here got snapped up by one of those companies.
Nokia is currently in the midst of another refocus. Nearly a year after closing the deal to sell its phone business to Microsoft, it agreed to spend $16.6 billion on telecoms equipment company Alcatel-Lucent in a deal that will close in the first half of next year. Part of that arrangement included a strategic review of its business, which prompted the harsh look at where Here fit in. Since then, it’s come to light that Nokia may plan to get back in the business of creating mobile phones, making the sale of its maps business all the more interesting.