Official: Facebook Grabs Gowalla, Will Deploy Personnel To Timeline

CNN Monday reported this afternoon that Facebook has bought social cityguide and check-in app Gowalla. Gowalla has a presence in roughly 60 cities globally. It was well-loved by a core of devotees but lost momentum and mindshare to larger rival Foursquare.

Gowalla had two million registered users vs. Foursquare’s 10 million. Gowalla shifted models a couple of times before returning to being a local recommendation site/app.

According to CNN Money, the majority of Gowalla’s employees, including its CEO Josh Williams, will move to Facebook’s HQ in Palo Alto. The employees will reportedly be deployed to help Facebook further develop its Timeline product (and mobile generally).

Gowalla had raised approxmimately $10 million in VC funding in a couple of rounds since 2007. My guess is that Facebook paid that or somewhat less than that amount to acquire the company.

The fate of the Gowalla app and site are apparently undetermined. It’s unlikely that the Gowalla brand will survive however.

Postscript by Barry Schwartz: Gowalla has now confirmed the acquisition on their blog.

Related Topics: Channel: Local | Check-In Services | Facebook: Acquisitions | Foursquare | Top News


About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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  • Larry Carillo

    Should be interesting to see how this plays out…

    Larry Carillo
    Fort Collins, Colorado

  • Andrew Davis

    I hope that this move really speeds up the Timeline release.
    It has been long enough. :/

    Anyway, I’ve put together a new website with Hundreds of Free Facebook Timeline Covers: 

    Feel free to use them on your Facebook Profile. :)
    -Andrew Davis

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