Facebook's Place Tips goes national, retailers get free beacons

Six months after its initial trial run, Facebook's Place Tips program is finally expanding nationwide. Place Tips employs Bluetooth beacons to push FB posts and photos about a business to shoppers' phones while they're in the store. So if you're standing in line at, say Wetzel's Pretzels in the mall. If that pretzel stand has a Place Tips beacon, it will push information (and potentially coupons) to your phone automatically -- you as the customer simply have to open you Facebook app to access them.

The program originally rolled out to a few select retailers in New York City at the start of the year, however, Facebook announced on Monday that it is now available to any business in America. What's more, the company has released a web app that will allow store owners to request a free beacon of their own. Retailers won't be able to advertise using this service to start but, then again, they initially couldn't on Instagram either.