Facebook's new tips for Places puts it in competition with Foursquare

If you've ever found yourself in a new restaurant or a trendy tourist spot, you might've looked up Yelp or Foursquare -- or, heaven forbid, used Google -- on your phone to find out where the best view is or whether or not you should order the shrimp. Now, you might not need to, as long as you have Facebook installed. That's because the company has just introduced something called "Place Tips," which, when enabled, essentially pops up relevant content about your location as long as you're there. Specifically, it'll show posts and photos about the place from your friends if they've also visited it. The feature sounds very similar to what Foursquare already does with its own Tips, but with a much more Facebook-centric bent.

You'll know Place Tips is working if you see a "tip" notification for the place that you're at when you launch Facebook. Tap it, and it'll show a series of cards about the place. Not only will you see the aforementioned posts and photos from your friends, but you'll also see basic info about the business. That info includes details like its operating hours, posts from its Facebook Page if it has one, popular menu items and upcoming events. Facebook was careful to note that tapping on these tips won't post anything to your news feed or show anyone where you are.

Do note, however, that Place Tips is opt-out. That means that the feature is turned on by default if you've given Facebook permission to access your location -- it uses a combination of WiFi, GPS and cellular networks to determine where you are. But if you prefer, you can go ahead and turn the feature off in settings. If you'd rather have finer-grain control, you can even hide tips about specific places.

Introducing Place Tips in News Feed from Facebook on Vimeo.

Place Tips will not be everywhere just yet; Facebook says it's testing it in certain spots in New York, specifically Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge, Times Square, the Statue of Liberty and JFK Airport. Additionally, the social network is also testing out Facebook Bluetooth beacons at select businesses to deliver even more tailored tips. Those locations include Dominique Ansel Bakery, the Strand Book Store, the Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridien Hotel, Brooklyn Bowl, Pianos, the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop and Veselka.