Yesterday, Facebook announced a new feature in the hope of fending off threat posed by Foursquare and Yelp, both of which rule the crowd-sourced location discovery market.
Place Tips, as it’s called, injects useful information about the place you’re right at, including your friends’ recommendations and “fun, useful and relevant info,” right inside your News Feed.
But don’t your worry, you can turn it off at anytime!
“Place Tips help unlock the world by showing you more about the places you visit,” notes the social networking firm. “See your friends’ photos, learn from their experiencing and re-live big moments wherever you go.”
Information about the venue is presented in a series of cards and includes stuff like posts and photos your friends have shared with you about that place, posts from its Page, popular menu items, upcoming events and more
Facebook says that viewing Place Tips won’t show others where you are nor will it auto-post on Facebook so no one will be able to use social engineering techniques to determine your whereabout and places you frequent, unless you choose to make that information public.
Check out Facebook’s promotional video of Place Tips below.
Place Tips show up at the top of your News Feed “when you visit a supported place.” But what exactly is “a supported place”? For starters, landmark locations such as the Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge, Times Square, the Statue of Liberty and JFK Airport.
More are coming soon, including businesses in New York such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Dominique Ansel Bakery, Strand Book Store, the burger joint at Le Parker Meridien Hotel, Brooklyn Bowl, Pianos, the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop and Veselka.
What’s really interesting is that Facebook is also testing Place Tips using beacons, which are tiny Bluetooth-powered transmitters that send a signal to your device for accurate in-door positioning, like the one you see below.
Marketeers use beacons (or iBeacons, in Apple talk) to deliver contextual promotional messages. Beacons are also deployed in Apple’s own retail stores. You can learn more about Facebook Bluetooth Beacons here.
Place Tips require that Location services be enabled in your device Settings as it uses a combination of cellular network triangulation, public Wi-Fi hotspots and GPS positioning to zero in on your precise location.
iOS, in conjunction with the M7 and M8 motion co-processor inside newer iPhones and iPads, polls your location in the background and with your permission provides data to apps that request it, meaning you shouldn’t be overly concerned about the impact of Places Tips on your battery life.
Still, Facebook has provided a way to turn off location tracking for Places Tips. As depicted on the screenshot right above, just fire up the mobile Facebook app, go to your account settings, tap on Location and then flip the Place Tips in News Feed to OFF.
This is where you can also manage places that you’ve hidden (you won’t be seeing Places Tips in the News Feed for hidden venues). The feature is starting to roll out today on Facebook for iPhone.
Learn more about Place Tips at fb.me/placetips.
So, what do you think of Place Tips? Is it something you’ll be using on a regular basis or immediately turn off?
Sound off in the comments below.