Facebook is developing a new location-feature that will allow businesses know when you are near them, so you will soon be browsing more than just the shelves of your convenience store.
Pop-up notifications will appear at the top of your news feed, offering extra information about the place you’re in. The feature called “Place Tips” will allow physical stores to contact you via Facebook as soon as they detect you’ve entered a known location.
The program piloted by the tech giant since the beginning of the year uses Bluetooth beacons to reach potential customers. Initially, beta Place Tips was only available in a just a few New York businesses, but the social network is now opening it for small and midsize companies all across the U.S.
While at a company’s location, users will receive content from the business’s Facebook page – if they have one – information which will appear above the usual stories in the News Feed. Users can also review and receive review bits on businesses visited by their Facebook friends.
The strategy behind this feature is simple: customers find out more information about the place they’re in and what their friends’ experience in that place was, and businesses have the opportunity of becoming even more prominent on Facebook.
All that companies have to do in order to enter the game is have a Facebook business page and a 6-centimenter diamond-shaped Bluetooth device stuck on their wall.
Tapping on the Place Tips showing in your News Feed will lead you to a special thread with friends’ reviews and pictures of the place, without notifying or showing other users that you have checked that place.
All that Facebook users have to do in order to receive such content on their smartphones is enabling location with Facebook, have their Bluetooth turned on and allow Place Tips to feed information by checking it in settings.
So far, the program is only available on Facebook’s iPhone native app. Famous landmarks will also be featured without having to install beacons at location; the social network will make use of the user’s location provided by cellular networks, GPS and Wi-Fi.
Small businesses are the ones that could win the most by getting more people talking about them in the online – they could be promoting sales and events in a way that wouldn’t get lost in the users’ News Feed.
Moreover, Facebook is offering data on how many users became engaged with their content via Place Tips, but so far, restaurants in New York said they haven’t received anything. Facebook needs to fix this, because businesses need to know if the program is actually helping them increase in popularity.
Image Source: Business Insider