Facebook begins integrating Nokia's Here Maps before sale

Facebook has announced it will move from Bing to Here Maps, just weeks before Nokia intends to auction the mapping division to a handful of interested parties.

On the mobile version of the social network, alongside Messenger for iOS and Android, Here Maps will now be the primary source of mapping information for users.

Here Maps is lauded as one of the best mapping services in the world, used by Baidu for international maps and Amazon.com.

Google and Bing Maps are both tied to two of the largest tech companies on the planet, making it hard for other large companies to feel comfortable integrating, but Here Maps is owned by a small Finnish company that recently sold off all its mobile assets for £4.77 billion.

Facebook is reportedly in the running for the Here Maps acquisition, valued at between £2 to £3 billion. It is much less than the £5.36 billion Nokia paid for Navteq in 2008, but Nokia recently got round to making its mapping division successful.

Nokia has been trying to streamline the business by focusing on networking, technologies, patents and mapping. It looks like it wants to streamline more, with Here Maps eyed up by Amazon, Uber, German automotive companies and other prominent tech companies.

The Finnish networking giant recently acquired Alcatel-Lucent for £11 billion. Even though the acquisition will be completed through shares instead of cash, Nokia is still stripped when it comes to assets and needs funding - the auction of its mapping division might directly correlate to the need for instant cash for the Alcatel-Lucent acquisition.

Nokia is also planning a return to the smartphone market in 2016, although it denies reports it will manufacture or distribute phones soon.