Waze claims around 45 million users, but you may not know the company and its app. If you’re wondering why waze became such a hot property here are 4 theories:

1. There aren’t that many mapping software companies.Waze currently has 110 employees, you can’t do what Waze does with a staff of 15, which weeds out a lot of would-be contenders. The other reason there are so few entrants is that many startups are petrified of competing with Google.

2. Google hasn’t been great at cultivating a social network. The search giant has claimed as many as 500 million people are on Google Plus, but no one in the real world discussed Plus in the same breath as Facebook and Twitter. Waze’s active community provides a social layer on mobile, which is doubly attractive.

3. Maps are super important- users have been spoiled by Google’s excellent Maps — and have grown to rely on them.

4. It was a defensive move. Apple famously bungled its Maps app, but Facebook is way behind Apple with regard to mapping software. Depriving Facebook of good mapping software would allow Google to keep and bolster its lead.

Do you think Google was smart to buy Waze?