Facebook recently announced the launch of Place Tips, a new feature that surfaces location-specific content including friends’ recommendations and information about nearby shops and landmarks. It is designed to enhance the Facebook experience for users by using GPS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth beacons to deliver relevant and useful information and tips above the newsfeed. It is still in the early stages of beta development – meaning it is currently available to only a small pool of both retailers and Facebook users – but once widely available, the new feature holds promising opportunities for marketers on the platform.
To gain a first-hand perspective of the new feature, a few 360i’ers took a trip to Dominique Ansel Bakery – one of the NYC locations beta testing the new feature.
How it Works:
- Once inside the venue, if a user opens the Facebook app, they will be prompted with a discrete banner at the top of their Newsfeed.
- Upon clicking it, they will be presented with a content-rich, mobile vertical scrolling page designed to immerse users in all things related to the venue. They will then immediately be prompted to Like the page, message or check- in.
- Scrolling down, the user is presented with a horizontal scroll of pictures their friends have taken at this venue – which they can then click to expand. In a way, opening Place Tips is like exploring a new place through the eyes of friends.
- Users are then presented with content curated directly from the brand or place itself.
- After gaining friend and brand perspectives, users can scroll for trending topics about the venue and popular products from outside sources.
- Finally, users can see reviews and additional photos posted by the venue. At the bottom of the page, users are prompted to submit their own reviews.
Our Marketer Takeaways:
- Differentiation: Though it is has similar characteristics to Yelp and Foursquare, what makes Place Tips different from other competitors in the space is that users do not have to check-in to access geo-specific content and information at the right time, which creates a more seamless user experience. Most importantly, Facebook’s reach on mobile alone instantly makes it one of the most valuable location-based marketing opportunities for advertisers.
- User Experience: The interface and design is very user-forward and non-invasive. While the content provided was well curated and added value to the shopping experience, it was also not distracting and could have been easily ignored.
- User Reaction: Facebook is trying to create a surprise and delight element for a mutually beneficial relationship for both the brand/venue and user. Casual checking of Facebook occurs frequently during downtime whether users are waiting in line at the deli counter, or checking out at a clothing store. Given that user behavior already exists, there is limited barrier to participation, especially if Place Tips add value through a discount, offer, information or other incentive.
- Monetization: Place Tips is just another extension of mobile bridging the gap between effective online and offline communication. In the future there are likely to be substantial opportunities to monetize within the new features – both for Facebook and for retailers/venues. For example, retailers could sell placements in their Tips page to prompt preferred user behavior at the point of sale. For Facebook, Place Tips will likely become a compelling paid ad product for highly targeted and relevant communication. Marketers will want to explore paid capabilities once Place Tips evolves from beta.
Check out The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Strand Book Store, the burger joint at Le Parker Meridien Hotel, Brooklyn Bowl, Pianos, the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop, Veselka or Dominique Ansel Bakery to experience Place Tips first-hand.