Back in December 2011, Facebook up and bought location-based social networking site Gowalla without much of an explanation -- but now, we think we know why.
Software engineer Alex Wyler announced March 7 on Facebook's blog that the social network has improved its app platform so that users will now be able "to do all of the things they can do in a status update -- including add friends and location -- directly from the apps they're using."
In other words, users will soon be able to share and show through tags, photos, and videos where they are and who they are with, without having to post directly through Facebook -- similar to how former Gowalla users could share their locations with friends through posts and pictures.
"It's going to allow consumers who are using third-party apps to have a richer and deeper experience with third-party apps," Facebook product manager and Gowalla founder Josh Williams told VentureBeat. "Now, content that's coming in from an application can have the same sort of feature-richness on a user's Timeline that something posted natively would have."
As shown in the picture below, which Facebook included in its March 7 blog post, users can post directly from third-party apps -- like Path or Foodspotting -- onto their Timeline, showing with a picture, a video, and tags where they are and who they are with.
All of these app features are thanks to new APIs (application programming interfaces) that the social network has made available for use.
With them, third-party developers can now create apps that can read old posts tagged with a location; search for places with latitude, longitude, and distance parameters; find posts from friends who may be around a particular place; and feature friend and location tagging.
As Wyler explained: "These features give developers the tools to build more robust apps that help people to fill out their timelines with more detailed moments."
Do you think these moments might now be too detailed, or are you psyched to share more with your Facebook friends? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!