Before you even begin to have a freak-out session about how Facebook is going to envelope all your user data without asking, that's simply not the case here when it comes to this Gowalla purchase - instead Facebook has acquired the Gowalla team and their technologies and you'll simply be loosing all your information if you don't save it. Much better option, yes? What Gowalla is, for those of you that've not used it in the past, is an app and an ecosystem where you can share your photos and stories in the mobile space (aka on your iPhone or Android device) where people could access it in a whole new way. This was called Gowalla Passport, and like a scrapbook, you could place all your great bits of share-worthy media in there for all to see. Starting today, you'll have to export all your user data or lose it, as Facebook has picked up Gowalla hook, line, and sinker.
This purchase started back a couple months ago when founder Josh Williams and his co-founder partner scott attended Facebook's developer conference F8 2011. That was the place where Facebook showed off its new timeline features and presented a Facebook that showed off a person's entire life, all the way back to birth. As much of the technologically socially connected world was, so where these two fellow impressed. A few weeks later, Gowalla was contacted by Facebook and asked to join the team, as it were.
So starting today, Facebook has begun swallowing up Gowalla as its own. Somewhere around the end of January 2012, you'll be given a tool that will allow you to export your Gowalla Passport data, your Stamp and pin data (along with your legacy Item data) and your photos. Again Facebook will not be acquiring Gowalla's user data, that remains between you and the Gowalla servers until deletion day. So stay tuned and get ready to download!