Facebook acquires new talent from Gowalla

Co-founders of social-networking app heading to Facebook in January

Social-networking giant Facebook confirmed Monday that members from the Austin, Texas, company Gowalla will be moving to Palo Alto to join the Facebook team in the new year.

Gowalla co-founders Josh Williams and Scott Raymond will be moving to Facebook in January, along with other staff members, a Facebook spokesperson confirmed. After attending a Facebook developer conference in September, Williams said he was "blown away" by Facebook's new developments.

"A few weeks later Facebook called and it became clear that for our team to have the biggest impact was to work together," Williams wrote in a Gowalla blog post Monday.

Gowalla is a social-networking application that allows users to share information about different locations they visit by checking in online. Facebook has a similar application called Places, which lets users share their locations with friends.

"We share many of the same goals: 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," a Facebook spokesperson stated in an email to Palo Alto Online.

"We're sure that the inspiration behind Gowalla will make its way into Facebook overtime."

Facebook said it isn't acquiring Gowalla's technology or user-data and that users will be able to easily transfer their information from one site to the other.

The talent acquisition is one of many attempts by Facebook to make sure new, competitive ideas are coming from within its company walls.

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Like this comment
Posted by moving to Palo Alto?
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Dec 5, 2011 at 5:47 pm

Are they moving to Palo Alto or to Menlo Park? I thought we kicked Facebook out of town?

Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 5, 2011 at 5:51 pm

Unless they are getting hefty moving bonuses (I heard on the radio that all the staff plus the CEO) are moving here, they are not going to be able to afford to live in Palo Alto. I am sure that there is no comparison between house prices in Austin and Palo Alto.

But, I welcome anyone moving here just the same. If someone reading this is trying to find out what Palo Alto is like before they move, we really are a lot nicer than this Town Square Forum makes us.

Like this comment
Posted by moving to Palo Alto?
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Dec 5, 2011 at 7:28 pm

If Palo Alto really was nicer than the forums suggest, then the College Terracers would not have kicked Facebook out of town.

Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Dec 5, 2011 at 11:09 pm

C'mon. Palo Alto prices don't seem to deter anyone who gets into grad school at Stanford without any moving bonus. These are hard working kids who will be too busy at their craft to worry about their digs, as long as the commute is short and the environment is safe. Altogether it's fewer than 20 people.

Gowalla's traffic has been falling off anyway, down 35% year-over-year to around 95,000 unique monthly visitors (UVs). Put into context: Foursquare is up 75% at 1.7M UVs. Twitter up 45% at 37M. Facebook itself up 19% at 160M. Google of course is #1, up 15% at 170 million unique monthly visitors. (October-2011 stats from SiteAnalytics)

Throw rocks if you will, but the social media space continues to amaze me.

Like this comment
Posted by get real
a resident of another community
on Dec 5, 2011 at 11:35 pm

"moving" should stop spreading nonsense. Did you get that idea from Rush Limbaugh?
Facebook moved because it needed a much larger space. Their plans for expansion required the huge campus they bought.

Like this comment
Posted by Jimmy
a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 6, 2011 at 12:07 am

College Terrace didnt kick facebook out of town - It is well publicized that Stanford is building residential units where the facebook HQ is today. They HAVE to move...

Like this comment
Posted by Steve C
a resident of Menlo Park
on Dec 7, 2011 at 12:49 pm

If they are moving from Texas to the bay area, I hope they researched the cost of living(particularly housing)out here. I think they are in for a major sticker shock.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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