Published in Mobiles

Facebook works out way to annoy mobile users

by on11 June 2015

Hits you with adverts as you are on the move

Facebook is rolling out a system called Place Tips which will allow businesses to push updates to a person's smartphone when they are near.

Quite why anyone would want to receive these while they are walking the dog or shopping for something else is anyone's guess, but to get retailers on board, Facebook is sending out free Bluetooth beacon devices to firms that request them.

One marketing expert told the BBC it is important the systems do not become "intrusive" but given that marketing experts championed spam as being useful we can take what they say with a grain of salt.

Facebook has been conducting a trial of Place Tips in New York City since the start of the year, where more than 100 businesses have taken part.

Fortunately it only works with Apple devices, which is another reason not to buy the expensive toys and means that those users partake of some of the karma of owning one. If it takes off then Facebook will roll it out to proper mobile devices so the fate of the world's shopping depends on Apple fanboys throwing their toys out of the pram over it.  

Another upside is that Facebook is only trying it in the US so at the moment Europe will be safe from the blipping nuisance.

It works like this once a business, such as a coffee shop or restaurant, sets up a beacon, it can detect when a Facebook user is within a set distance.

The beacon can then send "fun, useful and relevant" information into the user's News Feed.

According to Facebook's explanation page, this information could include content posted by friends in the same place, as well as popular menu items and upcoming events.

It can be turned off so it probably will be. Facebook said that BBC that companies would not yet be able to use the service to advertise, but that this position may change in the future.


Last modified on 11 June 2015
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