Facebook taps up Nokia's Here to improve its mapping

Nokia inks quiet deal with Facebook to use Here for social network's mobile apps.

Nokia has added Facebook to its roster of customers for Here, the mapping business it's looking to sell.

Amid speculation that Facebook may be among the suitors interested in acquiring Here, Nokia has quietly signed a deal with Nokia that will see the social network use Here for several of its mobile apps.

As TechCrunch noted, the company is testing Here for location services in its Android Instagram and Messenger apps, and is also using Here for its mobile browser app.

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In addition Facebook is using Here geocoding, a service that Nokia also provides to Microsoft for Bing maps, which Facebook currently uses in its mobile browser app.

Nokia and Facebook confirmed on Tuesday they had reached an agreement over the use of Here, though neither were explicit about where Nokia's maps will be used.

"We are testing Nokia Here maps across Facebook to give us more control and flexibility in delivering a consistent maps experience," a Facebook spokesperson told ZDNet.

"We're excited that our maps can be enjoyed by Facebook users," a Here spokesperson added.

The deal with Facebook follows last month's announcement by Nokia that it is conducting a strategic review of Here, alongside its €15.6bn takoever with Alcatel-Lucent. Nokia said it was open to selling the business, which has an estimated value of between $2bn and $3bn.

Facebook is one of a number of companies that Nokia has reportedly approached about the sale of Here, alongside Amazon, Apple, Baidu, Uber, and a consortium of car manufacturers that user Here in their in-car systems.

Nokia gained its Here technology through its acquisition of Navteq in 2008. Prior the Here rebranding, Nokia's mapping business had been called Ovi maps.

The unit currently makes a small profit and counts a number of big names as clients, including Yahoo and Microsoft, as well as BMW, Daimler, and Toyota.

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