Reports are in that Gowalla, the location based startup and foursquare competitors has been purchased by Facebook for an undisclosed sum according to a report this evening by Laurie Segall onÂ CNN Money,Â Â yes, FACEBOOK, it excites us to know that Facebook is still interested in this arena, when it has been beaten by foursquare, Â a New York Startup.
Meanwhile, foursquare, released a statement about it: “Congrats to Josh and the team in Austin. Here at foursquare, we continue to focus on building an amazing product and growing our 15,000,000-strong community.”
Gowalla, which has raisedÂ $10.4 million, first launched at SXSW 2009 going head-to-head against foursquare, with a stronger emphasis on virtual goods and nicer icons than their competitor. But Foursquare overtookÂ Gowalla in popularity by a large margin, prompting the startupÂ to reinvent itselfÂ earlier this year.
The new product moves away from displaying a time-based feed of your friends’ recent check-ins, and focuses instead on creating Stories around the places you and your friends have visited, clustering together photos that show off your adventures (there is also a Guides section that lays out where you should visit in a given city).
In other words, it’s not too dissimilar to Facebook’s Timeline feature, which is also designed to group clusters of activity into more cohesive stories, as opposed to just a reverse-chronological feed. And it would make perfect sense for Facebook to start featuring location checkins and photos tagged with GPS coordinates into Timeline stories.
We hope this helps Facebook re-invent itself in the Location based System Arena