Facebook acquires location startup Gowalla

Posted by Mark Raby

Facebook has added a brand new online startup to its continuously growing library of nascent tech companies.

It's called Gowalla, based in Austin, Texas, and started off as a location-sharing service very similar to Foursquare. The idea was to compete against the leader in that space, but it became very evident that Foursquare was not going to be very welcoming to any competition and as such Gowalla has had to rebrand itself.

It now focuses on travel and offers tips and tricks for those people flying to various corners of the world, in a social and shareable way.

In addition to finding out about local hotspots and tourist attractions, users are encouraged to share their own travel stories and post photos whenever they go on vacation.

The acquisition by Facebook has not been officially announced. The initial report of the deal came from CNNMoney.com, and Facebook has declined to comment on the report.

The CNN article, though, quotes an unnamed source as saying, "It's a perfect match. 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."

Gowalla has received about $10 million in venture capital. CNN reports most of its employees will move to Facebook's headquarters in Palo Alto, California.