Facebook began testing its location-based place tips optional feature with iPhone users in January, and the social network announced Monday that it is expanding the availability of place tips to more small and midsized businesses.
When Facebook introduced place tips in January, it said in a Newsroom post:
When you tap on place tips, you’ll see a series of cards with info about the place you’re at. If you choose to view place tips, you’ll find things like posts and photos your friends have shared with you about that place.
You can also see information about the place, including posts from its page, popular menu items and upcoming events.
The social network offered more information about its expansion of place tips in a Facebook for Business post, saying that local businesses that have tested the feature “have seen a steady uptick in page traffic from in-store visitors.”
Facebook provided a more detailed look at how the feature works:
Place tips gather useful information about a business or landmark—like posts from the business’ page, upcoming events and friends’ recommendations and check-ins—and show it at the top of News Feed to in-store visitors.
Each person’s place tips are unique. At a restaurant, place tips can show the menu, reviews and frequently mentioned information about the establishment, like a signature cocktail or popular table. Place tips for a retail store can help customers find business hours, locate popular items and learn about upcoming events.
To improve the customer experience, businesses can write a customizable welcome note that appears at the top of the place tips feed and use it to promote items or share facts and tips about their establishment. A bookstore could use the welcome note to tell visitors where a book signing is happening in the store, while a popular deli may share menu items that famous people have ordered.
Place tips are shown to people who are in store and who have given Facebook permission to access their location on their phone. They’re also shown to people who check in to the business on Facebook. Because place tips are personalized and designed to be useful, we only show them when there is enough content from the business and a person’s friends to offer an enjoyable experience.
When Facebook initially announced the test of place tips in January, it said users’ locations were determined via cellular networks, WiFi and GPS, adding that it set up Bluetooth beacons in several locations in New York:
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art
- Dominique Ansel Bakery
- Strand Book Store
- the burger joint at Le Parker Meridien Hotel
- Brooklyn Bowl
- The Big Gay Ice Cream Shop
The social network said Monday that it is expanding the availability of its Bluetooth beacons, writing in the Facebook for Business post:
The most reliable way for businesses to serve place tips is with a Facebook Bluetooth beacon, a device businesses request from Facebook. Beacons use Bluetooth to send a signal to the Facebook app on customers’ phones to show them the right place tips at the right place.
We’re now providing free beacons to more businesses in the U.S. Because place tips are meant to offer people useful and interesting information about the places they visit, we’re prioritizing beacons for businesses with active pages full of content—such as photos, check-ins and status updates—from both the business and its customers. To help ensure that your customers see place tips at your business, request a beacon today.
Readers: Have you used place tips yet? What are your thoughts?