Facebook Buys Gowalla, Zynga Targets $1 Billion IPO, Groupon Investigated For Ad Code Breach

Breaking news from your editors at Fast Company, with updates all day.


Facebook Buys Gowalla. CNN Money is reporting that Facebook has acquired location-sharing service Gowalla for an undisclosed sum. CNN is saying that the company’s staff will be deployed on Facebook’s new (yet-to-be-released) Timeline feature, which leaves it unclear whether the deal is a talent acquisition or whether Facebook plans to keep Gowalla’s service, either as a standalone product or as part of Facebook. The report says some Gowalla employees will stay in Austin, while others will move to Palo Alto. –EBB


–Updated at 8:00 p.m. EST

Amazon Kindle Blazes At Best Buy. Amazon’s plucky little Android tablet that could has pulled off a statistical coup: It’s become the number one best-selling tablet PC at Best Buy. Which means it’s displaced Apple’s paradigm-inventing iPad from the top spot. It’s just one store, and there are a host of subtle influences at play, but estimates of around 3-4 million units sold aren’t bad. –KE

–Updated 11:45 a.m. EST

“Androidland” Store Touches Down In Melbourne. Google, Austrialia telecom company Telstra, and handset makers have teamed up to create “Androidland,” an Android-themed fun park in a section of the Telstra store in Melbourne. Android products from makers HTC, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, and of course Samsung line the displays, and the store includes a “spaceship” flight simulator in which visitors can navigate Google Earth. —NS

Zynga Aims For $1 Billion IPO. Facebook’s top game maker has set its IPO share price at $8.5 to $10, and will sell 14.3 percent of the total company (100 million shares), the New York Times reports. At the healthy end of that range, Zynga could make $1 billion at the first offering, putting the total value of the company at $7 billion. —NS


Groupon Investigated For Flouting Ad Regulations. Groupon, which went public in early November, is being investigated for 11 formal and 37 informal breaches of advertising code set by the U.K. Advertising Standards Authority between January and November this year. The Office of Fair trade will conduct the investigation. —NS

–Updated 8:00 a.m. EST

Point To Apple In Australia Tablet Tiff With Samsung. Samsung’s worldwide patent spat with Apple on phones and tablets has swung in Apple’s favor, at least when it comes to the off-and-on ban of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia. The ban was due to lift late on Friday, but will stay in place for another week, giving the court time to hear one last appeal from Apple to permanently stop Galaxy Tab sales in the country. —NS


EU Bans Export Of Surveillance Tech Into Syria. The European Union has banned companies from building and exporting surveillance technology for mobile phones and the web into Syria, Bloomberg reports. Recently, Italian company Area SpA quit a deal with the Syrian government, under which it would have allowed the president to scan all emails that passed through the country. —NS


–Updated 6:10 a.m. EST

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YouTube Launches Website Overhaul. Google’s video website now highlights YouTube Channels and subscriptions, and has loosened up to let users easily customize their channel subscriptions and sharing options, to and from Google+ and Facebook. A new version of the Channels feature is now open for testing, and YouTube is inviting its users to opt in and take it for a spin. —NS

Google Taking On Amazon With Low-cost Shipping. Google is in talks with retailers to offer a low-cost overnight shipping and delivery system for online purchases, the Wall Street Journal has heard. Google and Amazon are already facing off on cloud music and video streaming with Google Music and YouTube matching Amazon Prime’s music storage and video lending services, and online retail could become another front for skirmishes between the two companies. —NS

Chrome Overtakes Mozilla To Become Browser No. 2. StatCounter, a web-monitoring firm, has recorded that Chrome downloads and usage across the world overtook Mozilla’s Firefox in terms of market share in November, a full month ahead of predictions. Internet Explorer for Windows remains at top spot in the web browser race.


–Updated 5:45 a.m. EST

[Image: Flickr user skagman]

Yesterday’s Fast Feed: WikiLeaks Explores Surveillance State, Barnes & Noble Battles Microsoft Patents, Apple Explains Siri Search Glitch, and more.