tripadvisor.pngWhere I’ve Been, an application built by an independent developer using Facebook’s developer platform, has been bought for $3 million by TripAdvisor, according to Facebook-focused blog InsideFacebook.

[Update: this story, widely reported last night, is now reportedly untrue, according to Mashable.]

While this is the largest amount paid for a purchase of a Facebook app — that we know of — the purchaser, TripAdvisor, is one of the more bullish companies about Facebook and its platform. TripAdvisor is better known for its home site that offers traveler’s reviews on hotels, vacation destinations, etc.

Where I’ve Been allows people to add a world map to their Facebook profiles that they can use to show others which countries they’ve visited. So far, more than 2,381,693 people have signed up.

InsideFacebook previously reported that founder Craig Ulliot complained in June that he had 250,000 users and expensive servers running to handle the traffic, with no revenue in sight.

We’ve already called the purchase of Facebook apps a “land grab.” Slide, RockYou and a few other companies are building or buying popular Facebook applications of all sorts. Their common goal, from what we can tell, is to get as many users as possible regardless of the type of application. Then, these companies can serve ads to users via their nascent Facebook-based ad networks, or develop other means of making money.

TripAdvisor seems to have grander, travel-focused plans. It also owns similarly named Cities I’ve Visited, a Facebook app with only 1,050,705 total users.

Ulliott no longer needs to worry about how to monetize all these users — now that’s TripAdvisors problem.

Update: This blog, via Dave, suggests TripAdvisor is essentially buying “a 2.3 million long list of leads” to pursue with targeted travel deals, etc.

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