Facebook, the popular social networking site is now experimenting with free Bluetooth Beacon device by sending it to businesses that request them, a similar kind of experiment undertaken by giants like Apple.
For e.g.- When a consumer is within the beacon’s range of a retail shop, the social network will place information about that store above the news feed on his smart phone through a “place tips” feature, released by Facebook.
Facebook’s new Place Tips feature
This place tips technology by Facebook will have an interesting impact on the businesses like retailers and restaurants. People will receive Place Tips from the beacon only when they have enabled location services on their phone and have Bluetooth turned on. The beacon won’t disturb the Wi-Fi or other equipment. Facebook has promised that their beacon is ‘designed for privacy’ something many people won’t agree to.
Facebook’s new feature “Place Tips” which is soaring with beacon technology will use Bluetooth technology to send one way signal to the Facebook app on the customer’s phone to show the right information while they are in their shop, or in close vicinity, without collecting any information from people or their phones. Also, people can change the setting and silent the place tips if they don’t want their news-feed to be flooded with offers and advertisements.
Currently, Facebook has been conducting a trial of Place Tips in New York City since the beginning of the year, where more than 100 businesses have taken part. Currently it only works with Apple devices, but version supporting Android is being developed. Place Tips contends straightforwardly with Yelp and FourSquare, both of which give space to customer’s inputs and surveys/reviews.
This smart feature of Facebook allows users to check-in whenever they are or had been and share their location. This feature enables Facebook to build enduring customer profiles and sell targeted advertising. For this situation, businesses can’t yet utilize beacons to push advertisements or offers to the user’s phone. However, they can use the functionality to transmit genuine customer response and impact shopping behavior.
Facebook Beacon & Applications
The Facebook beacons are small Bluetooth-enabled units that radiate a signal to smart phones to survey their location accurately. Facebook team has also confirmed that they are opening up beacon based applications for its free beacon programs for retailers.
Retailers can request a free beacon from Facebook. In addition, they come pre-configured for every business. Then only thing a retailer has to do is to take it out and turn it on!
The beacon once set in a shop/restaurant can detect a Facebook user in its vicinity and can send attractive, useful and relevant information into the user’s News Feed. It can be a great way of interacting with the customers by giving them the information about the upcoming events, deals and business hours.
Overall, this cool tracking feature will give people an insight of the business just by being in their vicinity and for retailers it’s a way to keep their customers updated with the latest news, happenings and be in the minds of their customers that could eventually make better business. Let’s wait and watch how it performs and create a stir in the world…