Facebook's Gowalla buy confirmed; Gowalla to close - Mobile World Live

Facebook’s Gowalla buy confirmed; Gowalla to close

06 DEC 2011

Location-based sharing app maker Gowalla has confirmed it has been acquired by Facebook and that its standalone mobile service will stop operating at the end of January.

Co-founder Josh Williams broke the news in a blog posting today. “About two months ago, my co-founder Scott and I attended F8. We were blown away by Facebook’s new developments. A few weeks later Facebook called, and it became clear that the way for our team to have the biggest impact was to work together. So we’re excited to announce that we’ll be making the journey to California to join Facebook!” he wrote.

The Gowalla Passport service allows people to create a record of the places they’ve visited, who they were with, the photos they took and the stories associated with those experiences. With the service due to close, users will be able to export their Passport data as Facebook is not acquiring the information.

It was reported yesterday that Facebook had acquired Gowalla for an undisclosed amount and that Gowalla’s team would be taken on by the social network to integrate the Gowalla technology into the Facebook Timeline feature launched earlier this year. Williams’ blog post appeared to support this: “As we move forward, we hope some of the inspiration behind Gowalla — a fun and beautiful way to share your journey on the go — will live on at Facebook,” he wrote.

Gowalla recently announced additional content for its app, to build on its check-in and recommendation functionality, and to build its appeal against rival Foursquare. It also tweaked its core check-in feature to allow users to add photos. The Facebook Places check-in feature was dropped as a stand-alone feature and integrated into the core social networking functionality earlier this year.

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Tim Ferguson

Tim joined Mobile World Live in August 2011 and works across all channels, with a particular focus on apps. He came to the GSMA with five years of tech journalism experience, having started his career as a reporter... More

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