Facebook Buys Foursquare Competitor Gowalla
Facebook has bought Gowalla for an undisclosed sum, reports CNN. Gowalla, an Austin, Texas-based company that runs a social location sharing service for smartphones, launched in 2009 hoping to take on Foursquare. It later reorganized itself as a travel and point-of-interest guide. Though neither company confirmed the acquisition, CNN reports that Gowalla's leadership will move to Facebook's Palo Alto offices where they will join the team designing Facebook's Timeline feature, while some Gowalla employees will remain in Austin. The future of Gowalla's smartphone application is unclear.
Facebook Testing Messenger-Based Personal Assistant
Facebook is trialling a smart personal assistant that will live inside its Messenger application and complete various tasks for users. For now, the assistant is called Facebook M and Facebook claims it will be superior to competing products.
Facebook Adjusts Mobile Notifications
Facebook today said it is rolling out redesigned mobile notifications for its Android and iOS apps. Moving forward, people will be able to add important information to their notifications, all of which can be viewed in a single place in Facebook.
Facebook Messenger Gains Live Location Sharing
Facebook today made it possible for people to share their real-time location with others using Messenger. The optional tool is available to both Android and iOS devices.
Facebook Messenger No Longer Requires Facebook Account
Facebook said beginning today people do not have to have a Facebook account to use Facebook Messenger. When first loading the app, users will have the option of signing in with a phone number rather than their Facebook account.
Facebook Broadens Its Mobile Shopping Push
Facebook is expanding the avenues through which mobile phone users can purchase goods within the Facebook app. The company is testing a new ad format called canvas that allows people to view quick-loading store sites, drill down into specific products, and make purchases — all without leaving the actual Facebook app.