Rumour has it that Facebook has added to its collection of start-up companies with the purchase of Gowalla. Gowalla initially started out as a Foursquare rival but could not compete with Foursquare’s popularity and extended user base. Lately, Gowalla has recast itself as a travel guide. It is likely that Facebook’s intention is to incorporate Gowalla employees in work on the new Facebook Timeline feature. Facebook was asked to comment on its acquisition of Gowalla but declined stating “we do not comment on rumour and speculation”.
Facebook has made 10 acquisitions of startups last year and the company aims to increase this to 20 purchases in 2011. However, Facebook has a habit of shutting down its new companies, instead using the experience of the engineers and developers on their other projects. Some on the hit list includes Beluga, Snaptu and Digital Staircase.