Facebook Acquires Local Recommendations and Guide Service NextStop

In a blog post, NextStop announced today that they’ve been acquired by Facebook. NextStop is a service that lets users create and browse through local guides, a bit like a more personalized and non-centrally-edited WikiTravel.

The service had gotten a nice little bit of buzz from the startup community, and in the past couple months had actually issued a few fairly major updates. But to the likely chagrin of NextStop’s users, Facebook will be actively shutting it down come September 1st.

It won’t be completely dead–NextStop is releasing all of its non-personal data under a Creative Commons license, so others can use the work of their users for even commercial uses. They’ll provide tools to easily export said contributions to services like Picasa and Google Maps.

So why is Facebook acquiring a company with which it doesn’t compete, only to shut it down? One possibiity is to secure NextStop’s tech–their crowdsourced publication tools could be valuable as Facebook moves more vigorously into location-based services. But it’s also likely that Facebook wants NextStop’s personnel, which includes a couple of high-profile ex-Googlers, some of whom either worked on or outright led the Picasa and Google Calendar teams.

Dan Nosowitz, the author of this post, can be followed on Twitter, corresponded with via email, and stalked in San Francisco (no link for that one–you’ll have to do the legwork yourself).DN