GowallaSo the big news is finally here, Facebook has bought location based game Gowalla. The competitor to Foursquare didn’t quite keep up and more recently tried to reposition itself but now the social media juggernaut that is Facebook has gone and bought it.

According to the BBC:

In September it refocused its efforts on becoming a travel service, offering “social guides” to 60 cities, including London, Paris and Chicago, based on its members’ postings.

At the end of last week CNN reported that Facebook had bought the firm for an undisclosed sum and would move Gowalla’s development team onto its Timeline feature.

Timeline turns users’ Facebook profile pages into a digital scrapbooks, making it easier for users to view each others’ life histories. The feature was announced in September, but has yet to be rolled out Foursquare - Chris Norton to many of the site’s members.

It’s no secret that Facebook is looking to roll-out it’s much over hyped timeline feature soon and I am sure we will get to see more about how this platform will be integrated into the Facebook experience. But what does this mean for Foursquare, I love that platform and find myself logging in far too much just to get some points at a weekend. Facebook Places is OK but it certainly isn’t as good as Foursquare but maybe this is the move into location based services that Facebook needed to take it to the next level and show the others how it is done.

Foursquare must have known this news was coming as last week it launched its “Save to Foursquare” and “Follow on Foursquarebuttons in an attempt to get users to integrate what they do on the Web with what they do in the real world. Personally, I think this is a very good idea – so expect Facebook to copy this first.

The save to Foursquare button is apparently targeted at online publishers and can help publications to relate stories and reviews to places listed in Foursquare.

You can hook up with me here on Foursquare. Do you think this is the beginning of the end for Foursquare leave a comment and let me know what you think?

About Chris Norton

Chris Norton is the founder of Prohibition and an award winning communications consultant with more than twenty years’ experience. He was a lecturer at Leeds Beckett University and has had a varied PR career having worked both in-house and in a number of large consultancies. He is an Integrated PR and social media blogger and writes on a wide variety of blogs across a huge amount of topics from digital marketing, social media marketing right through to technology and crisis management.