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Facebook buys location service Gowalla

Facebook buys location service Gowalla
Become the next Bill Bryson via Facebook

Mega social networking site Facebook has bought location service Gowalla for an undisclosed sum.

Gowalla's check-in service will be used to bolster Facebook's upcoming Timeline interface, which founder Mark Zuckerberg describes as, 'the story of your life: all your stories, all your apps and a new way to express who you are.'

Gowalla started as a FourSquare-esque location-based system, but soon became aimed towards travellers who want to document their journeys.

'The big picture'

An anonymous source told CNN that, '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.'

It's not known whether Gowalla will maintain its own identity, or if it will be swallowed up into Facebook's new system. Gowalla's service can also be linked to alternative social networking sites like Twitter and Foursquare, but it's similarly unclear if this will be maintained.

It's an interesting move from Facebook, and hopefully Zuckerberg's company will be able to sort out the automatic rotation of portrait photos.