Facebook Launching “Place Tips” So You Always Know Everything About Where You Are

When creating a post on Facebook, users can already tag their location to let the world know where they are. Now, the social media site is taking things a step farther with Place Tips, a service offering iPhone users a chance to learn more about that location, whether it be a coffee shop, restaurant, shopping mall or national landmark.

The Wall Street Journal Digits Blog reports that Facebook is in the process of testing Place Tips in New York City.

Place Tips will deliver information about the locations – derived from the locations’ Facebook pages – to the top of a users’ News Feed. The information will be displayed on a series of cards detailing things like posts and photos friends have shared about the location, Facebook says.

For now, the service is only available on the iPhone app, Facebook did not specify when it would be available to Android users.

To ensure that the locations sent to users’ apps are accurate Facebook will employ beacons that transmit Bluetooth signals in a range of about 500 feet. In the past, such beacons have been used by merchants, airlines and sports teams to send information or sales offers to nearby smartphone users.

Large, high-traffic landmarks such as Times Square and the Brooklyn Bridge the company says it will use GPS signals, cellphone towers and Wi-Fi signals to offer location-specific information to users.

Officials with Facebook say that to start, the service will be free for businesses to use, but it could turn into a revenue-generating product in the future.

Facebook users will have the option to opt-out of the new feature by turning off locations services on the Facebook app.

Because the information used in Place Tips will come from businesses’ Facebook pages, some companies may be amping up their social media content.

Brianne Sperber, a spokesperson for Strand Book Store – one of the companies testing the beacons – says that she plans to put more thought into the store’s Facebook page because of the new program.

“If Facebook is going to really do this for me and it’s going to be free of charge, I’m going to spend a lot more time considering how I place things on Facebook,” she tells the WSJ.

Facebook Tests Bluetooth ‘Beacons’ to Feed Users Local Content [The Wall Street Journal Digits Blog]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.