Gowalla, the location-based social networking service on 3rd December 2010 rolled out a redesign that included letting members of the location-based social network share “check-ins” at Foursquare, Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook Places.
The release of Gowalla 3 software, initially only available for iPhones, comes with the soaring popularity of services that let people use smartphones to let friends know where they are and what they are doing. The new Versions of the Gowalla application crafted for iPad tablet computers along with Blackberry, Android and other smartphones will be released in January.
“People love Gowalla but want to keep up with friends on Facebook and Foursquare,” Gowalla co-founder Josh Williams said while giving AFP a preview of the new software. “We are basically connecting all these disparate services to make it easy to share check-ins.”
New Gowalla features include being able to leave “notes” that friends receive only after checking in at a spot. For instance one might check in at a restaurant to find a note from a friend recommending a dish or dessert. A loved one traveling abroad could find a note waiting for them at a foreign airport.
Gowalla has attracted more than 600,000 users since a raw version of the service launched in early 2009 at a South by Southwest (SXSW) conference in the Texas city of Austin, where the Internet firm is located. About 45 percent of Gowalla use is outside the United States, with much of that in Europe.
Friends at Gowalla share pictures and comments from places they visit, earning creatively designed “passport stamps” along the way as souvenirs of adventures.
Last month, the Walt Disney Co. teamed with Gowalla to let people create virtual scrapbooks by “checking-in” at various spots throughout the entertainment giant’s theme parks. Gowalla has also collaborated with US car maker Chevrolet, telecom titan AT&T and Toms Shoes.
While Foursquare is a powerful contender and Facebook has the advantage of having more than 500 million members, it is too early to say how matters will play out in the location-based services arena.