Facebook has acquired the brains behind Gowalla, but not the social service’s location-aware and geotagging technology. Gowalla will be wound down in January. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
The news was announced today in a post on the company’s blog by Josh Williams, Gowalla co-founder and chief executive officer. He reassured users that Facebook is not acquiring their data and that there will be an easy way to export their photos and everything else they’ve shared via the company’s platform. He also said that talks between the two companies began in September, following Facebook’s f8 conference. “We were blown away by Facebook’s new developments,” he wrote. “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.”
Williams and fellow co-founder Scott Raymond, along with some of Gowalla’s employees, will be relocating to Facebook’s headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif.
“In talking with the Gowalla team, we realized that we share many of the same goals: building great products that reach millions of people, making a big impact quickly, and creating new ways for people to connect and share what’s going on in their lives,” Facebook said in a statement. “While Facebook isn’t acquiring the Gowalla service or technology, we’re sure that the inspiration behind Gowalla will make its way into Facebook over time.”
News of the acquisition began circulating Friday following a report by CNN Money.
Gowalla’s blog post – Gowalla is Going to Facebook Dec 5
CNN Money – Facebook buys Gowalla
Los Angeles Times – Facebook picks up team behind location-sharing service Gowalla
Wall Street Journal’s Bits – Facebook Buys More Talent With Gowalla DealTeamStickerGiant, used under Creative Commons license