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Waze’s carpooling app might start showing ads

And it’s expanding across California. More users = more screens for showing ads.

California Tightens Policy For Hybird Drivers Access To Carpool Lanes Justin Sullivan / Getty

Waze may start showing ads to Waze Carpool users, the head of business development for the carpool app, Josh Fried, told Recode.

Access to the app is also being expanded across California. Till now, it has only been available in the Bay Area and Israel, with plans to expand to Brazil.

That ads are on the table for carpooling tells us about the direction the carpooling service is headed. Waze Carpool currently doesn’t have a means of making money. The app charges riders what it calculates as their share of the cost of gas for a ride, which is given entirely to the driver without Waze taking a cut.

Even though Waze does not take a commission on rider fees, the company is considering it, according to Fried.

Pushing ads to users of the carpool app would make a lot of sense. Waze already displays location-based ads to drivers in its original mapping tool that came out before the carpool app.

And the expansion into all of California means Waze Carpool’s potential audience for ads is growing.

Fried also said Google-owned Waze currently has no plans to put Waze Carpool together with Waymo, the self-driving subsidiary of Google parent company Alphabet.

“Waze is thinking about the driver experience today, and self-driving cars are not ready for the mainstream, but traffic is here and now,” he said.

Waze won’t give specific numbers on its carpooling service, but Fried says the carpooling app is currently doing at least 2,000 rides per week in the Bay Area, its only U.S. market. Waze Carpool will be available to all users in California by June 6.

Additional reporting by Johana Bhuiyan.


This article originally appeared on Recode.net.

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