Confirmed: Facebook Acquires Gowalla

Yesterday I wrote about the rumoured takeover of Gowalla by Facebook (‘Facebook Expanding With New York Office And IPO In 2012?’), and now it has been confirmed.

In a blog post on their site, Gollawa announced yesterday (unfortunately after I’d posted my own blog and signed off for the day – damn those pesky international time differences!)that its founders and a handful of team members have joined Facebook and will be moving to the Palo Alto headquarters. Josh Williams, Gowalla CEO said his company was impressed by what was revealed by Facebook at f8, and it was not long after this that he and other team members were asked to join th Facebook team.

If you’re a current user of Gowalla, then there’s not need to worry about what will happen to the content you’ve been creating since the company launched in 2009. Elsewhere in the farewell blog post, Williams writes “Facebook is not acquiring Gowalla’s user data”. Instead, Gowalla plans 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.”

While this is obviously sad news for loyal users, we here at SocialSafe are pleased to see that Gowalla has gone about the winding down of its activities in a responsible way that puts the control of someone’s content back in their own hands. The ability to export content from social networks is something that we believe strongly in, and the idea that ‘your data is your data’ is one of the principles that SocialSafe was founded on. In the current day and age where so many organisations are showing little regard for their users’ data, we think Gowalla should be lauded for giving this option to their current users.


  1. The good thing about this acquisition is that the staff have been offered a position within Facebook and will have a job at the end of it.
    Sophie Hobson, deputy editor, LondonlovesBusiness

    1. Hi Sophie,

      I couldn’t agree more – it’s good to see a buy-out where those who were ‘on the front line’ so to speak are being seconded to carry on plying their trade, rather than being tossed aside after the previous owners have cashed their cheques. I’m not for a second saying that this might have been a possible outcome in the Gowalla/Facebook deal; I’m speaking in more general terms.

      Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.

      Best regards,


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