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Going Forward

A little over two years ago we unveiled a new way to share and discover the world’s most loved places. Little did we know that our product would inspire people in every country around the world to venture out and share their lives on the go.

You have visited millions of places, taken millions of photos, and shared millions of stories.

Shortly after Gowalla’s second birthday we took some time to reflect on the first two years of its life and to envision what we wanted our next several years to look like. It was a challenge, especially in light of our core mission: Inspire the world to GO.

As Gowalla has grown we’ve added many new features to the product. Some have had great success. Others haven’t worked out as well as we’d hoped. After the two-plus years of consistent feedback and amazing experiences, we believe this is an opportune time to  prune the branches that were twisted in order to focus on the experience we desire to cultivate.

This has led us to some difficult decisions.

Most notably, we will be removing Items completely with the next release of Gowalla. While they have been a trademark feature of Gowalla since the beginning — one that our entire team poured much effort and passion into — fewer than half a percent of our active community makes use of them. It now causes more distraction than joy for the vast majority of our community.

We will also be removing Notes, a personal favorite of mine. However, unlike Items, Notes are likely to return at some point in the future — simplified and united with our vision.

Pins will remain a part of Gowalla, but much of the fat surrounding them will be trimmed.

In a few weeks, sometime prior to our next update, we will turn off awarding of new Items. Later this year, the feature will be removed from the app, and then from our API altogether. We are, however, exploring a way for our users to download the data associated with their Items as well as the other deprecated features at some point after the update.

The concept of intangible virtual goods inhabiting some form of physical space is a remarkable one. Perhaps someone will pick up this torch and explore the idea further. You’ve taught us a lot about how this can work.

We know this will be sad for a core group of our longtime community members. You’ve made this feature a very special part of your routine. They remain an important part of Gowalla’s history as they helped kindle our fire to discover the world. To that end, our mission has not changed. It has only intensified. We hope you will continue to join us for this exciting next chapter of Gowalla.

Personally, I’m more excited than ever to GO out. To GO explore. We have much to show you soon.

Posted 3 years ago by firewheel

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