Looks like Facebook is trying to dominate the world, yet again. If you’re an iPhone user in NYC, you can be one of the first to test out a new Facebook feature called Place Tips—a Yelp-like function which aims to surface relevant information based on your location.
According to The Verge, a small, unobtrusive window shows up at the top of your News Feed if you’re near a popular location like Strand Bookstore. Tap that, and you’ll be able to see a feed of posts and pictures from other friends who have checked in. Facebook’s strategy is simple: you’d rather rely on trusted sources, like your friends, as opposed to random strangers on Yelp or Foursquare.
But as anyone who uses Yelp and Foursquare can tell you, the potential for misidentification of places is high, especially when businesses are located really close together. Facebook is attempting to combat this problem by not just using GPS or WiFi signals, but by also pulling Bluetooth into the mix.
At launch, a handful of businesses in NYC will have Facebook Bluetooth Beacons to aid in precision Place Tips implementation:
- Dominique Ansel Bakery
- Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridien
- Brooklyn Bowl
- Big Gay Ice Cream
The pilot program is focused on working out all potential problems before rolling Place Tips out on a wide scale. Once that happens, Facebook plans to bring it to both Android devices and more cities, although it hasn’t specified any dates yet.
Facebook product manager Mike LeBeau told The Verge that your individual Facebook privacy settings won’t change unless you change them—so if you don’t want to participate, just keep your Location settings turned off.
To all those devoted Yelp and Foursquare users out there: Do you even want a third place to check in and compare information? Or are you getting check-in fatigue?