Facebook’s Place Tips Leap From Indoor To Outdoor With Lollapalooza

The eclectic music festival kicks off July 31st and the social network’s location marketing tool is playing to its largest single audience ever.

Lollapalooza map
Lollapalooza map

Fresh from reporting solid Q2 earnings, Facebook is taking a big step with its Place Tips geomarketing program by taking the indoor service to an event space for the first time in support of the Lollapalooza music festival.

The 24-year-old music fest will be held at Chicago’s 319-acre Grant Park from Friday, July 31st through Sunday August 2nd. As usual, Lollapalooza will host a diverse array of acts including Paul McCartney, Metallica, the Alabama Shakes, Gary Clark Jr., Charli XCX, Tyler The Creator, and Black Tiger Sex Machine, among dozens of others. Performances will be spread across seven stages for an estimated 160,000 attendees.

Going Places, Tips Expands Quickly

Facebook began testing Place Tips this past January at several restaurants and cafes in New York City, including East Village pierogi institution Veselka, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Dominique Ansel Bakery, Strand Book Store, the upscale Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridien Hotel, Brooklyn Bowl, Pianos, and Big Gay Ice Cream Shop. The only outdoor spots included in Place Tips were The Brooklyn Bridge and a portion of Central Park.

Earlier this summer, Facebook began offering its Place Tips kit to any SMB in the US for free.

For those indoor establishments, Place Tips is primarily powered by Bluetooth Low Energy beacons (Facebook hasn’t identified which company is providing the technology). For Lolla, Place Tips will rely on a mix of beacons that are strategically placed around “high-traffic areas” at the event, as well as GPS.

When a Facebook member opens the social network’s app on their iPhone or Google Android device, a Place Tips notification appears at the top of their News Feed with an identifiable pink, circular icon surrounding a lotwercase “i” with a prompt to view “posts by your friends at…”

While Place Tips typically show what a user’s “Facebook friends” have shared at that location in the past, a spokesperson for the social net is quick to note that the service is strictly opt-in and sharing is a one-way street.

“Tapping on Place Tips won’t post on Facebook or show anyone where you are,” the Facebook rep said.

lolla place tips 1Now On The Main Stage

Rather than just showing Place Tips users their friends’ past posts and pictures, the Lollapalooza installation represents a much wider use of Facebook’s location-based marketing. Instead of focusing on one-to-one engagement with a specific person at a fixed place and time, Place Tips will essentially be broadcasting the event from fans and artists right to the 968 million people who use Facebook on an average day.

“During Lollapalooza, fans around the U.S. will be able to browse Lollapalooza Place Tips to see posts and photos from their friends who are there and live, trending content from the festival,” the Facebook rep told GeoMarketing. “More than half of Facebook monthly actives are connected to an authentic musician/band Page and more than 780 million unique people are connected to (or have liked) one or more of these music Pages making music festivals, and Lolla, a big moment with engaged fans.”

As for the festival’s attendees, they can simply open their Facebook app to see Place Tips info, such as a map of Grant Park and a “Now Playing” unit that shows the band lineup for the day, including the timing and location of stages.

For fans not at the show, there will be a number of ways to browse Lollapalooza Place Tips from their Facebook feed, whether they’re looking at the mobile app or not. According to the Facebook rep, “The easiest is to simply search ‘Lollapalooza’ in your Facebook Search bar.”

“Place Tips lets us enrich the Lollapalooza experience for in-person attendees and those wanting to experience the excitement of the festival from home,” the rep added. “Place Tips was originally developed for use at places, and Lollapalooza Place Tips are just one example of the deeper, immersive Place Tips we’re developing for specialized events and other new applications, too.”

About The Author
David Kaplan David Kaplan @davidakaplan

A New York City-based journalist for over 20 years, David Kaplan is managing editor of A former editor and reporter at AdExchanger, paidContent, Adweek and MediaPost.