Location sharing service – later turned into online travel guide – Gowalla has been bought by Facebook for an undisclosed amount, confirmed by sources. The deal has yet not been confirmed by any of the company spokesmen officially but sources has claimed that Facebook took the initiative to strengthen its Timeline team. Gowalla’s business is similar to Timeline feature – launched by Facebook in F8 conference – till and extent and addition of Gowalla team with timeline, including its founder Josh Williams, will surely improve the Timeline feature for next level.
“It’s a perfect match,” said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity as the deal has not yet been publicly announced. “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.”
Undoubtedly, it’s a great move for Facebook. Company has got brains – proven in the market – and will immediately strengthen Timeline team which is under roll-out of Timeline feature to 800 million plus Facebook users. But what is there for Gowalla on long run – besides getting pocket filled with millions of dollars probably? Absolutely, not much !
Its going to prove nothing much than a suicidal attempt for Gowalla on functional ground. Whole Gowalla team is going to sit in Paulo Alto working with Timeline Team and would be unplugged from the Gowalla platform. Infact Facebook too has no much strategic plan for Gowalla platform and it may dump Gowalla along with other companies who were acquired by Facebook only to get killed. Beluga, Hot Potato, Drop.io, Snaptu are only the few who got the same treatment from Facebook after acquisition.
Few industry analyst see this as a intelligent move by Gowalla to avoid the ‘slow-death’ like “MySpace”. Gowalla was losing the market to Foursquare constantly for last couple of months. At one point it had to derived its business focus to online travel guide business to stay afloat. If the trend would have continued, chances were high that Gowalla would have been completely stun-off from the market as users are turning off from Gowalla on regular basis. Traffic was declining, users were turning off and revenue was plunging. Definitely, it was a tough road ahead for Gowalla.
People will have different views to analyze Gowalla’s decision but besides financial gain there is absolutely no gain for the company. Don’t be surprise we Facebook shuts down the shutter of Gowalla home page soon !