Facebook today announced a new pilot program that its running in New York City. The feature it’s testing out is called Place Tips. Users will notice it at the top of their News Feeds when they’re out on the town. Tapping on Place Tips will bring up a series of cards that will bring useful information. Users must have location services enabled to use this feature otherwise it’s of no use to them.
Tapping on the Place Tips will show photos and posts shared by users’ friends who have visited the same place. For example if someone visits the Brooklyn Bowl they’ll see updates that their friends made when they were there too. Information from the spot’s own Facebook page, if it has one, will be surfaced as well.
All of the content that’s displayed to users by this feature has to be publicly shared. Facebook Place Tips doesn’t change anything with regards to users’ privacy settings.
Place Tips will only appear if Facebook is give the permission to access the device’s location. It uses things like GPS and Wi-Fi to locate the user and bring up information based on that location. The feature can be turned off at any time in the settings menu.
In some places around New York the company has also installed Facebook Bluetooth Beacons which will automatically send a signal to a phone that’s in range. This will help the service narrow down users’ location and show the “right tips for the right place.”
Bluetooth Beacons are being tested in various locations around New York including museums, businesses and hotels.