Picture this: You are wandering through a city, searching for a quiet café to get some work done. You see the perfect indie coffee shop across the street, but have no idea if the place has Wi-Fi. Facebook’s new “Find Wi-Fi” features means that you will never need to bother the harried barista with anything more than your coffee order.
The “Find Wi-Fi” feature helps users pinpoint Wi-Fi hotspots near businesses that have shared their information on their Facebook pages. Users will need to simply click and turn-on the “Find Wi-Fi” tab in their Facebook app. This page can be found under the “More” tab. Users will then be able explore the area on the map and learn more about the nearby businesses.
Facebook initially rolled out “Find Wi-Fi” in a few test countries in 2016. The company developed the feature because “it’s not only helpful for people who are traveling or on-the-go, but especially useful in areas where cellular data is scarce”. There is one downside, however, to this helpful feature. Businesses need to actively opt into this service for their information to be available to users. There are many businesses, particularly old school mom-and-pop shops, that offer free Wi-FI, but do not necessarily keep up with social media.
Facebook has been actively working with businesses to attract more customers and social media users for several years. The company offers Wi-Fi services to any business that has an official Facebook page, a valid location, and a compatible router. Customers are able to check-in in order to receive free Wi-Fi and can opt to “like” the business’ page. This agreement helps businesses to get more exposure and offers them useful anonymous demographic data. Facebook does not directly profit for offering free Wi-Fi, however, they hope that successful businesses will purchase advertising space and of course it gives users the opportunity to login to Facebook via another medium.
Facebook’s “Find Wi-Fi” feature is now available worldwide for Android and iOS.