Facebook Launches New ‘Place Tips’ Feature, But You Can Opt Out

fb-placesIn a somewhat surprising release, Facebook launched a new feature called Place Tips for New York City users this week. If your location services are turned on, the Facebook mobile app will bring tips, photos and posts that pertain to your location to your News Feed.

“News Feed today is a pretty good tool at connecting you to friends and news,” wrote product manager Mike LeBeau in a blog post. “but if we’re Facebook and our job is to connect the world, what else do we want to connect you to?”

Early reports indicate that the feature is a fairly unobtrusive notification at the top of users’ News Feeds that offers them the option to click into it to find out more about a well-known nearby location. Even though the feature can’t post to your page and won’t show your friends where you are, the fact that Facebook can analyze data to figure out your exact location will likely put off some users. Thankfully, you can easily opt out of the feature. Simply go to “Settings,” then “Location,” and then “Place Tip Settings.” You can then turn the feature on and off. You can also turn off your location services for your entire phone under “Settings,” too.

Here is an excerpt from Facebook’s blog post on the feature that details how your location data is obtained:

How Place Tips Work
Your location is determined using cellular networks, Wi-Fi and GPS. In the coming weeks, we’ll be testing place tips using these signals in places like Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge, Times Square, the Statue of Liberty and JFK Airport.

In certain places, we’re also testing place tips using Facebook Bluetooth® beacons, which send a signal to your phone that helps us show you the right tips for the right place. We’ll be testing these in a handful of businesses in New York such as The Metropolitan Museum of ArtDominique Ansel BakeryStrand Book Storethe burger joint at Le Parker Meridien HotelBrooklyn BowlPianosthe Big Gay Ice Cream Shop and Veselka.”

Image Credit: Facebook