Facebook is offering free beacons for brick-and-mortar businesses that will show information to visitors about your business when they pop open the Facebook app while they’re in store. The information that Facebook will share with visitors is actually fairly useful. It includes:

Businesses can’t advertise for now, but with Facebook’s limited rollout of Place Tips  in January, Facebook is clearly staking a tent pole in the ground in their quest to “show people fun, useful and relevant info about the places they visit.” We imagine that offers and ads aren’t far behind. After all, Facebook has access all of that location data from more than 1 billion users.

But for now, Facebook is handing out beacons like candy and asking nothing in return. Request one here.

To receive Place Tips when out and about, users need to have location services and Bluetooth turned on. An earlier test run in New York with a limited slate of businesses must have been a success, because now Facebook is rolling out the beacons to the entire United States.

The beacons use Bluetooth technology to send a one-way signal to the Facebook app on visitors’ phones. Facebook says the beacons don’t collect any information from people or their phones.

Olga is a Senior Manager of Marketing and Sales Operations at Connectivity.

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