Facebook bolsters location services with Gowalla team
Facebook has hired the design and engineering team of social sharing site Gowalla to bolster its location-based services.
Facebook: hires Gowalla team
Early reports indicated that Gowalla had been bought outright, however the Texas-based company is to close its app and move its staff, including co-founders Scott Raymond and Josh Williams, to Facebook’s Palo Alto headquarters in January.
Gowalla, which launched in 2009, was originally a check-in service, but just a few months ago it repositioned itself as a location-based travel guide, as it struggled to compete with rival Foursquare.
Facebook launched its own version of a check-in service ‘Places’, in the US in August last year. The addition of Gowalla into the business move could give Places the much-needed shot in the arm and help the company to cash in on the potentially lucrative location-sharing business.
Facebook said in a statement: "In talking with the Gowalla team, we realised 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."
The news comes ahead of Facebook’s hotly-anticipated flotation, which is reported to be in the second quarter of next year.
Follow Sarah Shearman on Twitter @Shearmans
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