Gowalla announced plans for its new app today at TechCrunch’s Disrupt event. As a long time rival to check-in company Foursquare, a new direction for Gowalla’s social location service was needed. The Austin, Texas-based company will attempt to offer a cross between a social app and a travel guide, focused around local experiences.
This is how the new Gowalla works: instead of checking in, Gowalla users will now create “stories” when they meet up to hang out together. These are group check-ins, as on Facebook where a user can tag multiple friends at one place. Once complete, any tagged person can give photos and other content to the story, capturing it as a communal experience. The app (version 4.0), is said to bear little resemblance to earlier versions of the app. Gowalla is no longer run as a check-in service, but the idea is now to focus on travel and storytelling.
As soon as its new app gets approved, Gowalla will be relaunching with upgrades to its iPhone, Android and Web versions (though users can continue to check in through the old versions). This new update sounds very intriguing, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it for a test drive. Who knows, maybe I’ll replace Foursquare as my number one location-based platform just like I replaced Facebook with Google+. Yes, I’m weird like that.