WASHINGTON, November 2 (RIA Novosti) – Facebook has started testing out a new service that allows retail stores to offer customers free Wi-Fi when users check-in on the store’s Facebook page, a function that shares the user’s location with their friends on the social 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,” a representative from the company told the blog Inside Facebook.
The new system requires businesses to provide Internet service and Facebook provides stores with a free router. Non-Facebook users can still take advantage of the Wi-Fi by entering a password provided by the store.
Once customers log-in to Facebook Wi-fi, they’ll be immediately redirected to the business’ Facebook Page, and business owners will be able to track how many new Likes they received from people who took advantage of this service.
Facebook said some companies plan to offer special deals to those who check-in, giving customers an incentive to publicize their shopping habits on the popular social media site.
According to reports, the Facebook Wi-Fi idea came from one of the company’s famous “hackathon” projects, where employees brainstorm and tryout new ideas.
For now, the program remains as a limited test. No word yet on which businesses are involved in the pilot program, or if Facebook plans to expand the service on a wider scale.