Remember the old saying: “A wise man gets more use from his enemies than a fool from his friends”? It appears that the fine folks at Facebook follow that same mantra. Earlier this week, Facebook announced they had purchased the geosocial site, Gowalla. You might be thinking this is just a classic case of the big guy picking on the little guy—well, not necessarily.Gowalla is a mobile app very similar to Foursquare. It allows you check into places and share pictures with your friends—a place to tell your whole life story. A few months back, Facebook announced they would be revamping the entire site with the introduction of Timeline. The goal of timeline, which is still in the beta phase, would be for Facebook users to not just share their day to day life, but to share detail of their life from its beginnings. Facebook is attempting to be more than a social site, but a way for us to define ourselves as people.
In our opinion, the acquisition makes all the sense in the world. Facebook is acquiring the creative team that designed one of the most popular mobile apps on the market, which can compliment their pre-existing services, like the Places function.
So what does this mean from a marketing standpoint? When Facebook finally rolls out Timeline to the masses, it could completely change the amount of time the average user spends on the site. No longer will it be a place where you share photos and vent about how much you hate your job—it will be a virtual scrapbook.
The bottom line: if the average time spent on Facebook increases, this will give you more time to grab their attention and maybe—just maybe—add new customers.