Place Tips, which Facebook has started to roll-out, is a system allowing businesses to send updates to a person’s smartphone when they are nearby.
Facebook have been trialing this service since the start of the year with over 100 businesses taking part.
It currently only works on Apple devices, but a version that supports smartphones powered by Android is also in the development stages. Only being rolled out across the US at the moment, it is yet to state when it will be released to other parts of the world.
Once a business like a coffee shop for example sets up a beacon, it detects when a Facebook user is a certain proximity.
It can send “fun, useful and relevant” information or photos straight into the user’s News Feed. According to Facebook, this information could include content posted by their friends in the same place, as well as upcoming events.
It can be used to push information and deals to people while they’re in the prime position to make a purchase.
There have been concerns expressed however that it could be viewed as spam if people get a stream of messages every time they enter or pass a store on their news feed.
Companies aren’t yet able to use the service to advertise, however this could change in the future.
The information sharing will only be one way. The beacons don’t collect any information from people or their phones or change the sort of location information Facebook receives.
Apple’s own beacon technology is also being tested round the world, including McDonald’s restaurants and shops on Regent Street in London.
This could be a great tool for businesses to connect with their audiences. If you want to know more about Facebook, why not check out how to set up a successful Facebook page for your business.