Facebook Purchases Gowalla to Improve Timeline
CNN confirmed rumors that Facebook bought location check-in and travel service Gowalla. However, neither Facebook nor Gowalla made official statement about the acquisition that supposed to be Facebook’s strategic move to improve Timeline interface. If information from undisclosed sources is truthful, this is complete acquisition whereas almost all Gowalla employees will move from Austin office to work on Facebook Timeline. Moreover, it is still not clear either Gowalla will remain as independent service, will be fully integrated into Facebook social networking site and won’t be Gowalla as such any more or rather Facebook aims to utilize Gowalla’s human resources to work on its Timeline feature that is still available only to developers and selected users.
Location-based social network Gowalla was launched in 2009 by Josh Williams and facing competition with such apps developers as Loopt and Foursquare reinvented itself as application for travel and storytelling in September 2011. Is it a win-win situation for both sides? Facebook’s check-in feature failed competition with Foursquare and for Gowalla it is not the best times. Also the information source reports that “it’s a perfect match, Gowalla’s vision is about people telling stories, and Facebook’s vision for Timeline is about stories about important moments in life.”
Beluga, Hot Potato, Drop.io, Snaput, and Digital Staircase are just few examples of Facebook acquisitions made not because of technology or their applications but in order to get talented engineers on the board.