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Confirmed: Facebook buys Gowalla, shutting service down

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Corporate News, Software

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.

Click to continue reading Confirmed: Facebook buys Gowalla, shutting service down


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Facebook brings event check-ins, unfriending to iPhone app

Facebook app

Facebook yesterday updated its iPhone app to version 3.4, bringing enhancements to the News Feed and notifications UI as well as the option to check-in to Facebook Events on the go. For unfriending that cannot wait until you get back to your desktop, the app adds that, too.

The signature feature of the update, of course, is the mobile check-ins for Facebook Events. We previously reported that Facebook added another layer to its location-based functionality by including a check-in icon available on the day of a given event. The company had pledged to launch the feature soon on the iPhone and their mobile site. Yesterday's update fulfills that pledge.

Formerly, the only way you could check in to a Facebook Event was through Facebook Places, which entailed checking in to locations as you would with Foursquare or Gowalla. Now users can check-in to events themselves, opening up new possibilities for companies and individuals. For example, you could arrange contests at events.


Facebook 3.2 for iPhone brings Places location check-in, background uploading

Facebook iPhone 3.2

We all knew it was coming, but Facebook has finally released their location check-in methodology with the release of their Facebook for iPhone 3.2 app. The new ‘Places’ feature let’s you check-in Foursquare/Gowalla-style into venues that are around you. You can also track the locations of your friends as well, to see what others in your social graph are up to. One seemingly annoying feature is that Places even allows you to check other people in with you, and that is on for every account by default. Of course, you can manually turn that feature off, but shouldn’t that be the default option?

Also new in 3.2 for phones running is background uploading of photo and video content, so you can start an upload and jump out of the app to something else while things continue. All iOS version also pick up new in-app privacy management features as well.

We’ve been trying to test out all the new hotness, but just about every area we go into on the new app results in some sort of error message. We’ll keep trying.

Read More | Facebook 3.2 for iPhone

SxSW 2010: Austin is now the Thunderdome

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Editorial

Thunderdome

The rumor at is that attendance for Interactive badges is up by 40% from last year, which is pretty amazing when you consider that the 2009 attendance was 10,741. So the amount of people decending on Austin, TX to see the next Twitter or Foursquare make an appearance is around 15,000. It’s crazy to think that Foursquare just debuted last year and now it is the most talked about product so far at this year’s event (granted, things are just getting started.) Speaking of Foursquare, we’ll be covering their SXSW news, as well as that of what we consider to be their main competitor, Gowalla, in the next few days.

SXSW 2010 badges

It also looks like some of the big names we’ve seen in the past are back in 2010 to take part in the festivities. I saw that Pepsi, Microsoft and Aol were still building their booths this morning.

Braden Young is covering SxSW 2010 for Gear Live. You can follow him on Twitter at @bradeny. Hit him with a tweet if there are any events or sessions you’d like him to hit up and cover!


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