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Tuesday December 6, 2011 6:00 am
Confirmed: Facebook buys Gowalla, shutting service down
Gowalla's co-founders on Monday confirmed that they will be making the move to Facebook, though the social network said it will not be acquiring Gowalla's technology.
Gowalla's location-based social service will be "winding down" by the end of January, co-founder Josh Williams said in a blog post. "We plan to provide an easy way to export your Passport data, your Stamp and Pin data (along with your legacy Item data), and your photos as well."
The ball got rolling on the Gowalla-Facebook deal several months ago after Williams said fellow co-founder Scott Raymond attended Facebook's f8 developer conference.
"We were blown away by Facebook's new developments," Williams 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. So we're excited to announce that we'll be making the journey to California to join Facebook."
Williams, Raymond, and other members of the Gowalla team will move to Facebook in January and join the company's design and engineering team, Facebook confirmed.
"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."
Facebook will also not acquire Gowalla's user data, Williams said.
"We know how much many of you loved Gowalla. It's been the highlight of our lives as we've built it with your help over the past two years," Williams continued. "As we move forward, we hope some of the inspiration behind Gowalla—a fun and beautiful way to share your journey on the go—will live on at Facebook."
Reports of Facebook purchasing Gowalla first emerged last week. Gowalla started three years ago as a way "to inspire people to go out and share ... places, photos and stories," Williams said. When Facebook kicked off its own (now somewhat defunct) Places location service last year, Gowalla and rival Foursquare were among the companies onstage with Mark Zuckerberg to endorse the product.
In September, Gowalla announced that it would refocus primarily on travel, creating more than 60 Guides to cities around the world, authored by major content creators as well as by users themselves.
This article, written by Chloe Albanesius, originally appeared on PCMag.com and is republished on Gear Live with the permission of Ziff Davis, Inc.
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