Gowalla

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Gowalla Incorporated
Gowalla Logo.png
Type Social networking
Headquarters Austin, Texas, United States
Key people Josh Williams, Scott Raymond, Keegan Jones, Andy Ellwood
Employees 30
Alexa rank negative increase 523,986 (April 2014)[1]
Launched 2007

Gowalla was a location-based social network launched in 2007 and closed in 2012. Users were able to check in at "Spots" in their local vicinity, either through a dedicated mobile application or through the mobile website. Checking-in would sometimes produce virtual "items" for the user, some of which were developed to be promotional tools for the game's partners. As of November 2010 there were approximately 600,000 users.[2]

At the start of December 2009 it was reported that Gowalla had raised $8.4 million in a round of venture capital funding led by Greylock Partners and angel investors Chris Sacca, Kevin Rose and Jason Calacanis.[3][4] It was acquired by Facebook on December 2, 2011, for an undisclosed sum [5] Gowalla, Inc. was based in Downtown Austin, Texas.[6] On March 10, 2012, Gowalla announced it would cease operation and users would be able to download their checkins, photos and lists soon.[7] However, this seems to have fallen through, as the site was made unavailable before these histories could be downloaded.

Overview[edit]

Gowalla was a primarily mobile web application that allowed users to check into locations that they visited using their mobile device. This was done either through the use of dedicated applications available on Google Android, iPhone, Windows Phone, Palm WebOS, and BlackBerry, or via the service's mobile website. Check-ins could be pushed via Notifications to iPhones, and by linking accounts, to Twitter and Facebook.

"Trips", which as of January 2010 [5] could be made by any user, linked together up to 20 related spots, grouped into categories such as Nature Hikes or Pub Crawls.

Some Spots and Trips were "featured" by Gowalla, being highlighted on their website and awarded a special status and icon. Featured spots tended to be local landmarks such as Buckingham Palace in London, while featured trips were chosen for being "unique and exciting".[5] Within the Gowalla community, certain users had an elevated status above that of normal users. Whereas every user could create a spot and maintain its details, members of the Street Team were able to move and edit any unlocked spots. This included the ability to merge duplicate spots.

In early versions of the service, users would occasionally receive a virtual "Item" as a bonus upon checking in, and these items could be swapped or dropped at other spots. Users became "Founders" of a spot by dropping an item there. Items used to form a key feature within the game and each user had a vault into which they could place items they wanted to keep. In a September 2011 update, items and the user's vault became less of a focus of the application and were removed from the user experience. Many users were unhappy with the removal of Items.[8]

On December 2, 2010, Gowalla released version 3.0 for the iPhone 4, allowing Gowalla users to check in using Foursquare, Facebook Places, Twitter, and Tumblr, or view friends' check-ins from other services.[9] In March 2011 an Android version of Gowalla was released. This allowed the same features that applied to the iPhone 4 to be used on Android phones; it also updated the interface dramatically to introduce a new "Passport" look.[10] In June 2011 a Windows Phone 7 version of Gowalla was released with a similar feature set.[11]

The acquisition of Gowalla by Facebook was announced on December 2, 2011.[12] Gowalla, as a service, was shut down on March 11, 2012[citation needed]. Gowalla stated that Facebook would not be acquiring any of Gowalla’s user data.[13]

Awards[edit]

Gowalla won the Mobile category in the 2010 South by Southwest Interactive awards.[14]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Gowalla.com Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2014-04-01. 
  2. ^ Swartz, Jon (2010-12-02). "The latest from Gowalla is worth checking out". USAToday. Retrieved 2 December 2010. 
  3. ^ McCarthy, Caroline (2009-12-09). "Geolocation wars heat up: Gowalla raises $8.4 million". CNET. Retrieved 2009-12-26. 
  4. ^ Hawkins, Lori (2009-12-10). "Gowalla raises $8.4 million to expand in Austin". Statesman.com. Retrieved 2009-12-26. 
  5. ^ a b c Segall, Laurie (2011-12-03). "Facebook buys Gowalla". CNN. Retrieved 18 March 2010. 
  6. ^ "Terms." Gowalla. Retrieved on December 5, 2011. "610 W 5th Suite 604 Austin, TX 78701"
  7. ^ http://gowalla.com/
  8. ^ "Gowalla Updated To Version 4.0 - Removes Features, Adds Force Closes". 2011-09-22. Retrieved 2012-10-26. 
  9. ^ Chartier, David. "Gowalla 3.0 Unites Facebook, Foursquare Check-ins". Retrieved 2 December 2010. 
  10. ^ "Gowalla 3 for Android finally out". 
  11. ^ mcalliph (2011-06-28). "Gowalla: Gowalla for Windows Phone 7 is here!". Blog.gowalla.com. Retrieved 2012-10-26. 
  12. ^ Kincaid, Jason (2 December 2011). "Report: Facebook Has Acquired Gowalla". TechCrunch. Retrieved 3 December 2011. 
  13. ^ Josh Williams (5 December (2011)). "Gowalla is Going to Facebook". Gowalla. Archived from the original on 2011-12-17. Retrieved 20 December 2011. 
  14. ^ Richmond, Shane (2010-03-18). "SXSW 2010: The changing face of the web". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 18 March 2010. 

Coordinates: 30°16′09″N 97°44′58″W / 30.2691°N 97.7495°W / 30.2691; -97.7495