Facebook already bridges the divide between the internet and the real world by offering a platform for interacting with your real-life friends online. But that’s not really where the money is, which is why your Facebook feed is probably filled with ads, sponsored posts, or content from websites you follow (like maybe Liliputing?)

Now Facebook is launching a new pilot program to bring content from bricks and mortar shops and other locations to your phone by beaming “Place Tips” to your mobile device.

facebook bluetooth beacons

Facebook’s new Bluetooth Beacons are small devices that can be placed at stores, hotels, or other businesses or landmarks. They’ll send out signals that can be picked up by the Facebook app on your phone when you come within range.

According to the Wall Street Journal Facebook will begin testing the service at eight locations in New York City including the Strand Book Store, Le Parker Meridien Hotel, and the Dominique Ansel Bakery.

The idea is that you’ll be able to get information about the places you’re visiting — and not just info provided by companies. For example you might see photos that your friends have snapped when they were at that location.

Bluetooth Beacons are only one of the ways Place Tips will determine your location. Facebook will also use WiFi and GPS location information for locations such as the Brooklyn Bridge or Times Square.

If you’d rather not get Place Tips, you can turn them off (at launch, Place Tips are only available for iPhone, but they could eventually roll out to Android and other platforms.

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10 replies on “Facebook Bluetooth Beacons let stores beam info to your phone”

  1. Ah, let’s support the least popular platform first. Getting info on current location is something Google and Android has been doing for years anyway (e.g., Maps, Google Now).

    1. In terms of revenue, IOS still outpaces Android by a considerable margin, so it’s quite possible Facebook knows they will earn more from the Apple platform with this app. They have all the numbers, after all.

  2. How much people keep bluetooth on continuously? I don’t for that matter, it would just drain my battery. Sounds like a DOA idea…

      1. A lot of people leave WiFi on as well. If you have a good phone and OS then battery drain isn’t problem.

    1. Smartwatches and Glass require it. Before I got a smartwatch I wouldn’t have considered it for the same reason as you.

    2. my kia soul has bluetooth fr hands free xalling. before that i never bothered with bluetooth.

  3. This is just one more way to data mine anyone running Facebook apps on their phone.

    1. One more reason to never install their app. As if we needed another one!

    2. You shouldn’t use a smartphone nor the internet then. You’re being data mined 24/7.

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