Preeminent social network Facebook has acquired location check-in and travel service Gowalla, reports CNN. The acquisition was apparently made in order to bolster the capabilities of the new Timeline interface that Facebook has been preparing to roll out across the service soon.
Most of the Gowalla team, including its founder Josh Williams, will move to the Palo Alto offices of Facebook to join its team. The Timeline feature is said to be the focus of the Gowalla team.
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It’s unclear how exactly the Gowalla service will help Facebook to improve Timeline — a feature that allows users to scroll backwards through their history, both on and off Facebook — although a source quoted by the publication says that “it’s a perfect match, Gowalla’s vision is about people telling stories, and Facebook’s vision for Timeline is about stories about important moments in life.”
Facebook also has a local office in Austin, where Gowalla is based. Some of the Gowalla team will stay there.
The future of the standalone Gowalla app isn’t clear at this point, although Facebook’s treatment of other projects like Beluga, which it folded into messaging, as well as Hot Potato, which went to Places, leads us to believe that Gowalla’s admittedly gorgeous app will most likely go away.
Gowalla had recently moved away from location check-ins to become a travel and journaling assistant.