Facebook has started to roll out place tips, a system that allows businesses to send updates to users smart phones when they are nearby.
Other technology companies such as Apple have already experimented with similar systems, but Facebook are keen to get users on board by sending out the devices to organisations that request them.
The user’s location is currently determined by Wi-Fi and GPS networks, but in some places Facebook is experimenting with Bluetooth and Cloud Computing technology.
The device allows businesses, such as restaurants and museums to send out ‘fun, useful and relevant’ alerts in a non- intrusive fashion, to the users news feed. These can be displayed in the form of content posted by friends in the same place, along with upcoming events, deals and menu items.
The system has been created to be as un-intrusive as possible and Facebook users can turn the places application off through their settings. The feature won’t post on Facebook or show anyone where users are.
Facebook has been successfully conducting trials of ‘Place Tips’ in New York city since the start of the year and so far more than 100 businesses have taken part. To date, the device only sends alerts to Apple devices but an Android system is currently developed.