News broke today that the founders of locally-founded and well-loved Gowalla are packing up their passports and heading for Palo Alto to join the Facebook team.
I’m sad to see Gowalla go (I preferred it to FourSquare) but really interested to see what the meeting of minds will bring. Gowalla recently changed up its format, and if we’re being honest, I haven’t used it since. Granted, that was mostly because I haven’t updated my phone in forever (don’t tell anyone) and wasn’t sure how the old version would interact with the new, but I digress.
The Gowalla team has reassured users that Facebook hasn’t acquired the technology (or, rest easy Gowalla-bies, the user information), but hasn’t shared the specifics of their new role. Initial reports are stating that the pair might be added to the Timeline team. I don’t know how many of you are on Timeline currently (for the record, I really like it), but it’s that nugget of information that makes me feel alright with the loss of my beloved check-in friend. Since Facebook Places hasn’t really been in action since Timeline launched, I’m really interested to see how the Gowalla team will plus that format. I think it’s definitely an opportunity for Facebook to give the location-based game another go.
Heck, even if the Gowalla team doesn’t bring check-ins back to Facebook, they’re good minds to have at the table. Gowalla was easy to use, aesthetically pleasing, and fun to interact with – all of which Facebook can stand to be better at sometimes.
So congrats, Gowalla team. While I’m sad to see you go (we were Austin neighbors, after all), I’m anxious to see what exciting things are in store for you (and for Facebook users everywhere).