It looks like SXSW is not only the launching point for some great startups, it’s also the ending point for some of the same businesses. Gowalla, launched during SXSW 2009, has now officially shut down after its purchase by Facebook in December. Three years ago, the service went head to head with Foursquare in the then-new notion of location-based social media and the world of check-ins. As Facebook has incorporated more location-based features, they have pursued the “better stories” that come with where you are, who you’re with, and a photo of what’s going on. In a recent post on their developers’ blog, Facebook hinted at what they planned to do with the newly-acquired assets of Gowalla, adding APIs to leverage people’s interest in sharing all those elements.
Gowalla will allow former users to export their data, but it will be interesting to see if those users migrate along with the remnants of the company to Facebook, or if Foursquare is about to pick up a lot more users.