Location-sharing startup joins FacebookDecember 6th, 2011 - 2:39 pm ICT by IANS
San Francisco, Dec 6 (IANS) Facebook and location-sharing startup Gowalla announced Monday that Gowalla’s founders as well as several team members will join Facebook and move to the social network giant’s headquarters in Palo Alto, California.
The announcement was made following media reports last Friday that Facebook is acquiring Gowalla as a whole to work on its Timeline feature, one of the most drastic changes to the social network since it was founded, Xinhua reported.
Facebook confirmed in a statement that the Gowalla team is moving to Facebook in January to join its design and engineering teams, saying “while Facebook isn’t acquiring the Gowalla service or technology, we’re sure that the inspiration behind Gowalla will make its way into Facebook over time”.
Gowalla, launched in Austin, Texas in 2007, is primarily a social mobile app allowing users to check in locations they visit with photos and other contents. As of last November, the service has around 600,000 active users.
A blog post by Gowalla CEO Josh Williams said the Gowalla service will be winding down at the end of January and they plan to provide an easy way to export user data.
“Facebook is not acquiring Gowalla’s user data,” he noted.
Besides Timeline, Gowalla is also expected to beef up Facebook’s location service Places to overtake “foursquare”, the most popular location service Gowalla has been struggling to compete against.
Major US tech bloggers and news sites used buzzword “acqhire” to describe Gowalla’s departure, which refers to big tech companies purchase small companies primarily as talent recruitment strategy usually at a relatively cheap price.
“I haven’t had a boss in over a decade. This could get interesting,” Williams tweeted Monday morning.
Talents like best designers and engineers are working for interesting startups, rather than out applying for jobs. Rapid-fire talent acquisitions seem to have become Facebook’s preferred hiring method as well as a way to make sure disruptive ideas are coming from within its walls, said tech news site TechCrunch.
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Tags: acquisitions, austin texas, bloggers, buzzword, drastic changes, facebook, founders, josh williams, last friday, last november, location service, monday morning, news sites, palo alto california, rapid fire, recruitment strategy, startups, team members, timeline feature, xinhua