Facebook Buys, Kills, Gowalla

Facebook recently acquired location based social network Gowalla. But Zuckerberg wasn’t after the service, he was after the developers. Facebook is shutting Gowalla down in January.

Relax News reports that as Gowalla’s team heads to Facebook headquarters, Gowalla’s user data was not part of the deal. Gowalla released a statement saying:

“Gowalla, as a service, will be winding down at the end of January. We plan to provide an easy way to export your Passport data, your Stamp and Pin data (along with your legacy Item data), and your photos as well. Facebook is not acquiring Gowalla’s user data.”

PC World reports that Facebook will not be using Gowalla’s technology or implementing its service on Facebook. But Facebook said in a statement that it expects the Gowalla team to start influencing the way Facebook operates.

Facebook said:

“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.”

Facebook added that with Gowalla, they plan to keep “building great products that reach millions of people, making a big impact quickly, and creating new ways for people to connect and share what’s going on in their lives.”

Gowalla was launched in 2009 and has been the main rival to Foursquare. Facebook hasn’t said what the Gowalla team will be working on, but Techcrunch speculates that they will most likely be working to improve Facebook Places. Tech Crunch notes that there are several things that could be improved about Facebook places. Tech Crunch writes:

“Places doesn’t help users discover locations based on their characteristics such as if they’re a restaurant, nightlife establishment, or public place. It also doesn’t let users find tips about what to do once they’re at a location.”

Do you think Facebook and Gowalla are working together to create a Foursquare killer?