Facebook buys Gowalla, Can we Declare Foursquare the Winner?

Facebook purchased the location-based social media service (LBS) Gowalla. This is the latest acquisition by Facebook pre 2012 IPO. Interestingly enough, when Facebook acquires a company, it acquires the leadership, developers and talent instead of keeping just the product.

From the Gowalla Co-Founder Josh Williams, “Gowalla, as a service, will be winding down at the end of January. 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.”

As with many of the strategic moves from Facebook, there are privacy concerns. In this case, Facebook now owns all the pictures, check-ins and connections entered by users of Gowalla. Early rumors have the Gowalla team working on the new Facebook profile, Timeline. Gowalla’s team and data would add a robust component to the Timeline, but will Facebook risk the inevitable complaints of privacy exploitation?

So, in the world of location-based social media, Foursquare is left standing. In 2009, Gowalla and Foursquare launched in the same week as rival location service apps. Both apps provided a method for people to announce their whereabouts by using their smartphones to “check-in” at real-world locations, such as Starbucks. In 2010, Facebook launched Places as an alternative LBS. Places has received luke-warm acceptance, it is not a huge leap to assume the acquired leadership from Gowalla will be able to improve the user experience of Facebook Places.

In the meantime, Foursquare has a window of opportunity prior to Gowalla/Places integration to capitalize on reduced competition and own the LBS marketplace.  Foursquare should take our advice and use these ways to improve the service.

Let us know if you think Foursquare will seize the day or if Facebook Places with the infusion of Gowalla talent will overwhelm the LBS market. Share your thoughts here or on Facebook at Weise Communications and follow us on Twitter at @Weise_Ideas.


1 Response to “Facebook buys Gowalla, Can we Declare Foursquare the Winner?”

  1. February 22, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    Hello every one, here every one is sharing such experience, therefore it’s pleasant to read this blog, and I used to pay a quick visit this website daily.

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