updated 08:10 pm EST, Fri December 2, 2011
Facebook sets up Foursquare rivalry with Gowalla
Facebook was reported as having bought check-in service Gowalla. Contacts explained to CNN that chief executive Josh Williams and most of the staff would relocate to Facebooks' Palo Alto headquarters, with some staying behind in Austin. Unusually, they wouldn't work directly on Facebook Places' check-ins, instead switching to the Facebook Timeline revamp of the profile page.
It may be a talent acquisition for Facebook, which sometimes buys to prevent talented but struggling teams from going to Google or other competitors.
The fate of the Android and iOS apps wasn't clear. Traditionally, though, Facebook has kept apps running for some time before shuttering them later, such as Beluga's messaging in the months following the release of Facebook Messenger.
While not yet confirmed, the deal if confirmed would mark a quiet end to once-fierce competition in the social location service app arena. Gowalla was once considered on par with Foursquare but gradually lost ground. Concessions became evident after it allowed Foursquare check-ins and tried to avoid direct competition by focusing on guides with a major remake.