Facebook just released a new feature for mobile called Place Tips that has a very familiar ring to it.
You stop for lunch at a popular restaurant near your work and suddenly a notification pops on the top of your Facebook mobile news feed. Tap and you get information about the very restaurant you’re sitting in. Dig deeper and Facebook will serve up all the reviews, photos and videos your friends have posted about the location so you’ll know to avoid the Clam Chowder and go with the Cranberry Walnut Salad instead.
Could be a lifesaver.
In order to serve up this feast of relevant info, Facebook has to first determine your location and that’s going to rile some people up. But there’s no need to worry. Place Tips is not a check-in service. Your location is not going to post to Facebook if you access the offered data. But you can bet that Facebook is going to use your location data for other purposes such as local advertising. And why not? If they know where you are, doesn’t it make sense to offer you a coupon for $5 off your lunch or a free appetizer with dinner?
Let’s look at this from the flip side; the person getting the information is getting a benefit from the service. What about the people whose accounts are being accessed to serve up the data. Is that something to worry about? I post about my trip to Universal Studios last month and you’re handed my post when you visit this week? For anyone trying to generate more views on their content, this feature could deliver a big audience – except for one thing – it looks like it only works between friends, so unless you have a ton of followers it’s not going to help at all.
There is one exception; in addition to posts from friends, Facebook Place Tips will also serve up posts from the businesses’ Facebook Page as well as scheduled events and other Page info.
In other words, Facebook Place Tips gives you all the benefits of Foursquare without having to actually check-in to a place in the first place.