On December 2nd, CNN reported that Facebook is acquiring location startup Gowalla. Facebook is yet to make an official announcement about the acquisition and and Gowalla has also declined to comment.
The Gowalla team will work on Facebook’s Timeline feature, which launched at this year’s F8 conference and is gradually rolling out to Facebook’s 800 million members. “It’s a perfect match,” said the source, who asked not to be identified because the deal has not yet been publicly announced.
“As far as the big picture, Gowalla’s vision is about people telling stories, and Facebook’s vision for Timeline is about stories about important moments in life.”
Jason Kincaid of TechCrunch has stated that “it’s not too dissimilar to Facebook’s Timeline feature, which is also designed to group clusters of activity into more cohesive stories, as opposed to just a reverse-chronological feed. And it would make perfect sense for Facebook to start featuring location checkins and photos tagged with GPS coordinates into Timeline stories.
Gowalla is a location-based social network. Users ‘check in’ at Spots in their local vicinity, either through a dedicated mobile application or through the mobile website. As a reward users will sometimes receive virtual “items” from check-ins.
Gowalla has confirmed the acquisition by Facebook. Gowalla CEO Josh Williams stated in a blog post that “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!”