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12/2/2010
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Gowalla Syncs With Foursquare, Facebook Places

Version 3 of the location-based service is available for iPhone, will launch Android and iPad iterations in January.

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Gowalla's newest release of its eponymous location-sharing service lets users check in using Foursquare, Facebook Places, Twitter and Tumblr.

Although it only is available initially for iPhone users, Gowalla 3 for the iPad, BlackBerry, Android and other devices is slated for release in January, the company said. Gowalla 3 for iPhone is available at iTunes.

"Today you can now connect both your Facebook and Foursquare accounts in order to keep up with friends across multiple services. We've combined them all into a single, connected activity feed with all your friends, regardless of the service they checked in on," said Josh Williams, CEO of Gowalla. "In addition to adding your friends' Facebook and Foursquare check-ins to your activity feed, we've also made it easier to preview the photos your friends are taking with Gowalla on the fly."

Under Gowalla 3, Highlights now appears in the iPhone's Spots pages. Users can view highlights that have been added to a spot, as well as their own. And users may read tips from Foursquare if any are present for a given location, Williams said.

A new feature, Bookmarks, lets users flag a favorite location or a spot they would like to visit in the future. With the Notes feature, users can leave a memo for a particular friend or themselves at any location. They will retrieve the note the next time they arrive at this destination and check in. Gowalla users can leave Notes via a mobile app or the web, said Williams.

"This is just the highlight reel of what you'll find in Gowalla 3," he said. "A refreshing design, better spot creation and management tools, and improved friend management features are also neatly tucked into this update."

Gowalla is one of the smaller established players in the increasingly crowded, yet still under tapped, location market. Gowalla has about 600,000 users, compared with almost 5 million expected to soon sign on to Foursquare and the 30 million using Facebook Places, according to various reports. In November, Gowalla inked a deal with Disney that lets users check in to Disney theme parks and take custom-designed guided tours.

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