Entrepreneurs take note: Facebook is making a new feature for businesses more widely available.
Facebook announced today that it is rolling out the Place Tips feature beyond the testing phase. Starting now, interested business owners can request a free Facebook Bluetooth beacon from the company, as Facebook plans to make beacons available to thousands of small- and medium-sized businesses across the U.S.
Facebook originally introduced Place Tips in January, with hundreds of businesses in New York City including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Dominique Ansel Bakery and the Strand Book Store testing the feature over the last months. Place Tips is an opt-in feature that provides tips at the top of the News Feed for Facebook users when they enter a business or landmark. Tips are unique to the user, mixing friends' recommendations, upcoming events at the locations and posts from the business's Facebook page.
According to Facebook, businesses using the feature have seen a steady uptick in Facebook page traffic from in-store visitors over the last six months.
"Our guests are very active on social media and often reach out to us on Facebook," Dominique Ansel, chef at the Cronut-creating Dominique Ansel Bakery, said in a statement. "We see any additional way we can communicate with them, like Place Tips, as an added plus to developing a dialogue."
If you're interested in setting up Place Tips for your business, you can request a beacon from Facebook here. The company says that it is prioritizing businesses with active Facebook Pages, so start beefing up your page with photos, check-ins and status updates before you send the request.