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Users can now check in to Foursquare and Facebook Places and post to Twitter and Tumblr from Gowalla
Gowalla launched Thursday the third iteration of its location sharing app, whose most significant upgrade lets users check in to other location networks, namely Foursquare and Facebook Places.
Gowalla 3, which is already available for iPhone in the App Store (Android and other devices have to wait until 2011), also supports sharing on microblogging sites Twitter and Tumblr and has added two completely new features, Bookmarks and Notes.
Location is probably the most crowded space for startups, at the moment, resulting in incredible fragmentation for a space that’s supposedly intended to connect users online and in the real world. If some of your friends use Foursquare (a location network expecting to hit five million users next week) and if some are on Facebook Places (which has been used by about 30 million people), then why would you ever use an app like Gowalla, which has only gathered about 600,000 users under its roof?
Well why not, says Gowalla co-founder and CEO Josh Williams, as long as you can send and receive location information to the bigger networks.
Such is the idea behind integrating with the company’s biggest rivals. Even if Gowalla 3 doesn’t necessarily attract more users, it will definitely give current users one less reason to ever stop using the app.
Additionally, share data can now be cross-posted to users’ Tumblr and Twitter accounts, which, combined with Foursquare and Facebook Places integration makes Gowalla one of the most connected location networks out there.
But besides integration with other location apps, Gowalla 3 packs a few more goodies in to entice new users.
For one, users can now “express” check-in to a location, which means that Gowalla tries to guess at where you are based on your history. (Williams claims they get it right about 80% of the time.) Users can also bookmark their favorite locations for quick access, and Gowalla will use these bookmarks to improve it’s express check-in algorithm. Finally, Gowalla 3 adds support for a really nifty tool called Notes, which lets users leave notes for their friends at locations. On the friend’s next visit to that same location, the note will be waiting for them after they check in.
Since Gowalla announced the new app on their blog and Twitter account an hour ago, whoever handles the company Twitter account has been aggressively responding to user responses via tweets. It seems that most people having issues with the app upgrade are using jailbroken iPhones loaded with Winterboard, an application for changing themes and other visual aspects of the device’s mobile operating system. Gowalla’s only solution at the moment is to either wait for a fix or remove Winterboard, inconveniences that could slow user adoption of the new app.
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