Facebook to Buy Location Underdog Gowalla, Rumors Say
The team will work on Facebook's new Timeline profile
Facebook is said to have acquired (or be very close to acquiring) Gowalla, the location based service that hasn't been able to leave Foursquare's shadow. The social network is said to be interested in the talent above everything else and will move most of the Gowalla team to its headquarters in Palo Alto.CNN Money broke the news, but neither company is confirming the move. However, the unnamed sources say that the deal is done.
Most of the team will join Facebook and work on Facebook's much-touted Timeline feature, which is not yet available to most users, even though it was released about three months ago.
Some of Gowalla's employees will continue to work in Austin, where the startup is headquartered. There's no indication of whether Gowalla's current service will be shut down, though it is likely, at least going by Facebook's past record.
All Things D managed to get a hold of an internal email about the acquisition rumor which doesn't really deny anything, though it doesn't confirm it either.
"CNN just broke the news that Gowalla has been acquired by Facebook. This story was leaked from an unknown source," Gowalla CEO Josh Williams reportedly said.
"The ink on the deal is not dry, so our holding pattern is that we do not comment on rumors and speculation. I have another email penned that was ready to send you today, assuming you would get this news before the story was officially released," he said.
"But now it is all over Twitter, so you have likely heard. A longer email will be sent soon. Until then, I am so very grateful for what you have done to make Gowalla a success," he added.
Gowalla went head to head with Foursquare, but never managed to get much headway or get too many users. It has raised a little over $10 million, €7.5 million to date from investors.