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Facebook buys, kills travel rec site

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Facebook has acquired NextStop, a San Francisco-based startup that let netizens share advice on where to go and what to do.

NextStop's employees — including two former Google product managers — will be joining Facebook, and its site will be shut down on September 1. If you're currently using the service —  whose goal was to make it "dramatically easier to discover great things to do anywhere in the world" — you must export all your data before that date or it will be lost.

"This creates a number of big changes for the nextstop product and our community," NextStop said in a web post, "but we believe it's an opportunity for some of the ideas behind nextstop to reach Facebook's audience of more than 400 million users and have a much bigger impact on the world than we could on our own."

In the coming weeks, the company says, it will release its database of places and recommendations under a Creative Commons license in a format designed for easy importing into other tools. "Our aim is make it possible for other products — whether they already exist or are yet to be created — to harness the collective knowledge of the nextstop community, which includes information on nearly 100,000 recommendations for places around the world."

It's would appear that Facebook is acquiring the company simply for its talent, which is typically the case when Mark Zuckerberg and crew go shopping. "Members of the nextstop team are joining Facebook and we hope that some of the central ideas behind nextstop will live on," NextStop said. "We’re shutting down the current version of nextstop so we can focus all of our attention on what comes next."

Facebook has also acquired "some" of NextStop's assets. But the firm says that no users' personal data will be shared with the social-networking behemoth. ®

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