11 December, 2011

Facebook Check-in Badges: Quite possible with Gowalla’s movement




Don’t get surprised if you soon get a pretty badge for your Facebook check-in or other activities.


Facebook Gowalla badges
Those who have already collected many pins on Gowalla and badges on Foursquare, would easily understand what a Facebook badge might look like. And with this latest hurtle of the Gowalla team joining Facebook, the badges on Facebook seems quite possible as of the years beyond 2012. Consider the fact that quality design work has always been the priority and specialty of Gowalla.

Starting from the ban on Google+ ads on Facebook, development of the ‘timeline’, counter suit on timeline.com, latest ticker ad development, then declaration of a new office in New York in the coming days the strategy of Zuckerberg’s team seems pretty much clear as they are lanning/moving in a real agile towards the IPO launch by April, 2012.


However, due to this tie up, Gowalla is totally shutting down in the early days of 2012. This in turn gives a space to think whether any injustice been done to the loyal users and the investors? Well, it surely deserves a second thought, at-least that would be the opinion from the loyal fans that supported Gowalla so far. But Facebook users surely have something like probable Facebook check-in and other activity related badges in a near future.

Gowalla so far: Tracing back to its origin, Gowalla was started in Austin, three years back. During this tenure, it was quite successful in accumulating earnings of around $10 million. The story was pretty much okay till that point. But the main threat it faced was from none other than its main competitor Foursquare, which is still getting bigger as the time passes. During the last three years, Gowalla has reached a total user count of 2 million, whereas Foursquare has been accepted by five times more than that. To stay on the wave, Gowalla even considered a behemoth change in its strategy when it showcased itself as a mobile travel guide with the features like ‘story’ and ‘guide’ that was introduced in the month of August in 2011.

Gowalla latest

The Failure: The failure to get an edge over Foursquare was somehow signaling towards a death end of Gowalla. However, there are still some people who could never imagine such a quick shut down. So the question arises- without the tie up with Facebook, could the co-founders of Gowalla ever imagine of such a quick shut down? Of course they are going to join a brand with more than 800 million users, but what about those 2 million people who became a part of this journey so far?

Question arises from the investors’ point of views too. Of course they are going to be compensated well, but were it the final output they expected while investing in Gowalla? This movement simply doesn’t seem to justify the interests of the bigger masses. Even, many of the users are not aware that it is going to shut down in the very next month.  After all, a blog post in happy sounding words is not that sufficient to inform the people about the big transformation.

There is actually a two sided viewpoint that the investors can have. First, it is indeed a good decision, because the site was going nowhere, and it was destined to vanish somewhere in the near future. So, the compensation is a reasonable offer for them.

Both the cofounders of Gowalla, Josh Williams and Scott Raymond will be joining the group of Facebook very soon. Keeping an eye on this huge offer made to the founders, is the compensation sufficient enough for the investors? And that constitutes the second point I want to take stand on.

And most interestingly, there are still some facts under cover about this movement which are yet to be made public. We still don’t know the exact amount for which the Gowalla team has been settled for, and for what amount Josh and Scott decided to move to FB.

The Guessing Game: Things are there in deep dark and many points are yet to be disclosed by both Facebook and Gowalla on the latter’s movement. So, guessing these possibilities is just a tough nut to crack here. The only soft part we have to munch-on is the fact that the design specialty of the Gowalla team would somehow show up either in the form Facebook badges for check-ins or in the form of an eye-catching design for the timeline or for some other activities on FB.  Only the clock based real timeline would reveal that.


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