6:05 PM PST Fri, Dec 2, 2011
Facebook has acquired social guides service Gowalla for an undisclosed amount, a source close to Gowalla told CNN Money, which partnered with Gowalla back in 2010.
This is certainly an admission that despite a lot of effort, Facebook's mobile products are simply not as elegant an well-designed as those of Instagram, Gowalla and the new Path. Gowalla, which is known for superior design and UX, partnered with Facebook in August 2010 when Facebook launched Places.
As part of the acquisition, the majority of Gowalla's employees, including founder Josh Williams, will move to Facebook's offices in Palo Alto to continue developing Facebook's Timeline. Facebook announced the Timeline at f8 this year but still has yet to roll out to all Facebook's 800M+ users.
"It's a perfect match," the source said, who asked not to be identified because the deal has not yet been publicly announced. "As far as the big picture, Gowalla's vision is about people telling stories, and Facebook's vision for Timeline is about stories about important moments in life."
Austin-based Gowalla launched in 2009 to challenge foursquare but did not succeed so Gowalla recently relaunched as a travel guide. Gowalla, founded in 2007, has raised $10.4M to date from investors including Greylock Partners, Founders Fund, Kevin Rose and Chris Sacca.
[Disclosure: LAUNCH founder Jason Calacanis is an investor in Gowalla. ]
Other Facebook acquisitions include 18 patents from Friendster for $40M in 2010, ConnectU in 2008 for $31M and more recently WhoGlue, a software company that sued Facebook in 2009.
For more Gowalla coverage, check out Read Write Web.
CONTACTS & LINKS
Josh Williams, CEO
Scott Raymond, CTO