Just three months ago, Facebook announced that they acquired location services, Gowalla. Now, the social network has decided to shut down the location service. Visitors to Gowalla's website will read the following message, “Thank you for going out with Gowalla. It was a pleasure to journey with you around the world. Download your check-ins, photos and lists here soon.” Facebook had rolled out Places, earlier last year to compete with Foursquare's location-based social networking service. Reports say that Facebook, through its Gowalla acquisition, only hired the location service's top exectives and did not make use of their technology. According to The Telegraph, Gowalla had about 6,00,000 users, last December. Like Foursquare, users of Gowalla could check into places they went to and score points for their check-ins.
Gowalla went to Facebook, got shut down
Gowalla was launched three years ago at SXSW and it seems almost appropriate to shut it down around the same time as SXSW, this year. At the same SXSW that Gowalla launched, Foursquare also launched and had more success than Gowalla. There had been no official statement from Facebook that they were acquiring Gowalla to shut the service down, but given the nature of the acquisition, the shut down was a good guess to make. When the deal was made in December, Facebook released the following statement, “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. 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.” Gowalla had not launched in India, yet, but Facebook Places had (as did Foursquare).