Image credits – https://developers.google.com/nearby/
Google Nearby notifies you of things that can be helpful near you by surfacing location-specific notifications for apps and websites, with no prior app installed. Nearby has been growing in popularity for the last few months. In this blog, we will discuss answers to questions we frequently receive from our customers about Google Nearby. Let’s get started.
1. What is Google Nearby?
Google Nearby allows users to discover nearby devices or contextual information without an app. There are three types of these interactions: nearby messages, communication, and notifications.
Messages help discover and exchange information with other devices, without having to be on the same local network.
Communications is about bringing nearby users together digitally. This could be for data transfers, multi-screen gaming, or other kinds of sharing.
Notifications send location-specific notifications to users, no app install required. These come in the form of secure URLs.
2. What all can you do using Google Nearby?
Google recommends a list of things that you can do with Nearby.
- Drive your own app installs.
- Open personal or business profiles in social apps.
- Launch conversations or chatbots inside messaging apps.
- Drive consumers to content about nearby products.
- Help users explore store-inventory.
- Drive check-ins, reviews within local/travel apps.
3. Does it work only on Android devices?
Yes, for now, it only works on Android. Nearby service is supported on all Android 4.4 (KitKat) and newer.
4. How is Nearby impacting businesses?
The benefit of running a proximity campaign with Nearby is that businesses do not need an app to communicate with their users. In the last few months, businesses have utilized Nearby in interesting and powerful ways –
- Advertising an URL
- Triggering an app intent with web URL fallback
- Triggering an app intent with install fallback
- Sharing information
Nearby has been a powerful push to SMBs that are held back from investing in beacons due to the need for an app.
5. What does a user need for a nearby notification to be delivered?
Your users should have their Bluetooth and location on. Also, for the first time, your users need to enable Nearby on their mobile devices. To enable Nearby on mobile devices, they need to follow these steps –
1. Go to Google settings, and under the services section they will see ‘Nearby’ and ‘Nearby discoveries’.
2. Make sure that Nearby is turned “on”.
Once the Nearby is turned on, they will start scanning for devices around them. Once the mobile device is in the range of a beacon, it displays the scan results.
6. What’s the customer experience of Nearby notification campaigns?
Your users get a notification on their mobile devices. By clicking on the notification they are directed to a markdown card, or a URL that you have set or a form. We have created an Android mobile prototype for you to visualize the experience.
Check out the prototype
7. Can I schedule my notifications for a custom time?
Yes. With Beaconstac, you can schedule your proximity campaigns for a specific day of the week and at a specific time. A coffee shop owner might want to send two different campaigns for weekdays and weekends. Here’s how you can Schedule a campaign.
8. How does Google Nearby work?
Google Play service continuously scans for beacon devices in the background. Once it detects beacon in the range, it sends queries to the Google Nearby database to check if the beacons have any attachments. If a beacon has any nearby notification attachment to it, it displays it to on the mobile device.
9. How does Google Nearby scanning work?
Google Nearby scans for notifications when you press the lock screen button (display wake up) or when the phone is unlocked.
10. Where and when does the scanning happen, if not in my app?
Scanning is done in Google Play services build into the Android OS. You can have your own app to do that as well but not very useful.
11. Is Nearby better than Physical Web?
Nearby is much more powerful to the Physical web. And here are the reasons –
- Nearby adds an app intent to the campaign, which means users can click notifications and open an app up directly
- Nearby has introduced targeting rules, which allows marketers to design targeted marketing campaigns such as – “Send notifications on weekdays from 9am – 5pm”
- Nearby allows multiple notifications from a single beacon
- Apps that use the Nearby API, send telemetry information to the Google beacon platform where you can monitor the health of your beacons. This report contains the battery level, count of frames that the beacon has transmitted, length of time the beacon has been active, beacon temperature and much more.
Read more about why Nearby is superior to Physical Web.
12. Can I combine the experience of an app with the power of Nearby?
Yes, you can. Beaconstac has built an app – Nearbee. This app scans for Nearby notifications and displays the notification on the iOS device. Here’s how it is superior to any other third party app –
- Add an app intent to the campaign
- It allows notifications to be sent at a specific time of the day, or days of a week
- The app is designed to run and scan quietly in the background. This means users get the notification even when the device is locked
- With the app, you can send telemetry information to the Google beacon platform where you can monitor the health of beacons
- Send multiple notifications from a single beacon
If you are looking to get started on a short pilot, head to our Beaconstac store page and invest in a set of beacons and our Basic subscription plan. You can have the campaigns up and running in less than 15 mins!