Facebook Buys Gowalla

Gowalla logoFacebook have bought Gowalla, according to CNN. The world’s most formidable social network has snapped up the US location based social network, for an undisclosed sum.

According to CNN:

“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.”

Given Gowalla’s struggle to break through in the battle against rival Foursquare, it is no surprise that the decision has been made to sell the property, and more importantly, it’s developer talent.

As Facebook looks to develop it’s location based offering, you would imagine that the tech team would slot straight into this part of their business.

However, I do not see it that way. I think Facebook have seen a team of innovative developers who can be redeployed to make other elements of Facebook better – the timeline, as cited above, would be the obvious place to start.

There is no sign of the deal being mentioned on either the Facebook or the Gowalla blog, but it will be worth keeping an eye on these two sources for official confirmation over the coming days.

It is an unsurprising yet unexpected move from Facebook – they buy good technology and integrate it in way or another, I just figured they’d look to acquire a different LBSN, someone like echoecho or Scvngr, as they are relatively smaller and would be cheaper to get a hold of.

Regardless, it will be interesting to see how Gowalla fits in with the Facebook family. It also leaves Foursquare’s path to domination a little clearer, don’t you think?


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