On Friday, Facebook began testing Place Tips, a new feature that allows users to check into live events from anywhere. Making its debut at Lollapalooza in Chicago, the platform provides a stream of content from festival-goers to Facebook users anywhere in the U.S. Place Tips combines public content with posts and photos from friends attending the festival. This is similar to how a Snapchat user might view a friend’s My Story, supplemented by Snapchat’s curated videos of Lollapalooza.
Upon opening the Place Tips stream for Lollapalooza on Facebook’s app, users are beamed a live feed of the experience. Users can view a list of artists that are currently performing, a map of the festival, photos from fans and updates from bands performing throughout the weekend. For people who are actually at Lollapalooza, Place Tips acts as an informative resource to enrich the three-day event. For those who are experiencing Lollapalooza from home, the feature offers an all-encompassing peek into the happenings of the festival.
Facebook began testing Place Tips in January at restaurants and cafes in New York City, where it was primarily powered by Bluetooth low energy beacons. At Lollapalooza, Place Tips is using strategically placed beacons around high-traffic areas in Chicago’s Grant Park and GPS.
Lollapalooza is Facebook’s inaugural event for testing how people experience an event they’re not at. As Snapchat and Twitter have already invested in this space, this weekend marks Facebook’s clear move into the real-time event coverage market.
Twitter is expected to release its live event feature, nicknamed “Project Lightning,” before the end of the year. In this upcoming platform, Twitter users’ home screens will show various trending events taking place. These events could be prescheduled events such as music festivals, but could also include breaking news.
Facebook’s remote Place Tips stream incorporates both content from friends and content curated from all users. Overall, it doesn’t differ all that much from Snapchat Stories and Snapchat Live.
Lollapalooza’s partnership with Facebook marks the first time Place Tips was used for an event and was accessible outside of the event’s geographic location. This marks a big moment in the tech giant battle to commandeer live event coverage, and a win for remotely engaged music fans who can’t be in Chi-Town this weekend.