The company is providing free Bluetooth beacons to retailers in order to improve its Place Tips feature.

Facebook introduced Place Tips in January, a feature which flags up relevant information based on a user’s current location. Some iPhone users in beacon-enabled areas will find that their location appears at the top of their Facebook News Feed, writes Stephanie Mlot for PC Mag.

Facebook Providing Free Bluetooth Beacons To Businesses

Place Tips initiative to be boosted by scheme

Clicking on the location banner will direct the user to posts, upcoming events, and photos and updates from friends which are related to their location. In order for the information to be displayed, a business must be using a Bluetooth beacon, which transmits location information.

Facebook already counts on a number of partners for the scheme. In New York, participating businesses include Dominique Ansel Bakery, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Strand Book Store, Le Parker Meridien Hotel, Brooklyn Bowl, Pianos, the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop, and Veselka.

The scheme was also tested at public locations including Central Park, the Brooklyn Bridge, Times Square, the Statue of Liberty, and JFK Airport.

In the latest move to promote Place Tips, Facebook has announced that it is offering free beacons to businesses which apply for them online. The Facebook website states that the beacons will be given out “to a limited number of businesses at this time.”

Businesses benefit from greater visibility on Facebook

The company claims that the beacons only transmit a one-way signal which is picked up by the Facebook app on compatible smartphones. The company assures users of the scheme that it does not collect any data, and beacons will not disrupt wireless networks or other electronic equipment in the area.

Those interested in the scheme should act quickly given the fact that only a limited number of free beacons are available at this time. Once a beacon is received, simply remove it from its packaging, peel off a sticker and place the device in a sensible location.

“Now people can see more information about your business whenever they use Facebook during their visit,” the website said.

The beacons could be used to promote special deals or better inform visitors about services or products which are available at a specific location.