Facebook seems to be testing many things at once, some of them really interesting and useful. Businesses could soon offer customers free Wi-Fi in exchange for check-ins. Yup, it is as simple as that (of course, adding the cost for Internet in that place).
The social network is currently testing this new feature. It provides the routers, but businesses offer the internet access. Users can come, they check into a location on Facebook, are directly redirected to the Facebook fan page of that business and afterward they are free to browse the web as they please.
What do businesses gain? They will be able to track the number of new likes and thus to attract more fans which they afterward can engage in conversations or even develop interesting social media campaigns that will lead to potential sales.
If there are visitors who don’t want to check in, they can request a passcode from the local business and thus will be able to connect to the network.
“We are currently running a small test with a few local businesses of a Wi-Fi router that is designed to offer a quick and easy way to access free Wi-Fi after checking in on Facebook. When you access Facebook Wi-Fi by checking in, you are directed to your local business’s Facebook Page” the social network confirmed.
This new feature was discovered by developer Tom Waddington. He saw that on the insights API there is a new entry called “social wifi” (in the “Like sources”), which offers information on “People who liked your Page after checking in via Facebook Wi-Fi.”.
This is indeed an interesting move for Facebook, one that could help businesses. Let’s also not forget that Skype recently announced a similar free wifi service, with businesses also paying for the Internet, but, of course, not receiving the potential benefit of a Like on Facebook and their service is also restricted to the UK and Ireland.