Free Wi-Fi Access at a Shop near you, Courtesy Facebook!


It sounds awesome doesn’t it?

And impractical too….

But here is what Facebook actually has in mind

You have a shop, and have your own Wi-Fi hotspot. Facebook will provide you with a router. All you have to do is keep it there (your angle is not really made clear as of now, but it has to be something worth). Then for any customer who checks-in from that place gets free Wi-Fi access. And for customers who don’t want to check-in (say someone is supposed to be in college but is in CCD) but still want to use the Wi-Fi, they can by simply taking password from you.

What Facebook will provide you, as a provider is not yet made clear and this will be tested on a small scale as of now.

Facebook Free Wifi

Nowadays people don’t tag the place in status update but check-in, which sort of is a move to counter the FOURSQUARE and is kind of successful too. Checking in is like a matter of pride, kind of like rubbing it in the faces of people in your friend list, about the fun you are having.

Though you can sit at home but check-in from some other place, but that won’t be helpful. Unless your friend has the password to your account and you check-in and he uses the free Wi-Fi. That would be an elaborate plan to get free Wi-Fi, which is now available almost everywhere.

As a business move this seems really smart.

Businesses make pages for promotion among the youth, the pages can be advertised on Facebook. Local businesses are wary of traditional advertisements because a ‘like’ really doesn’t convert the person into a customer. I may ‘like’ a page of some restaurant as I might have heard some good reviews about it but that doesn’t mean that I intend to or have already visited it. Check – ins will provide with a way to gauge whether the people are ‘like’ing because they were there or not. If this feature isn’t already available in Facebook insights it will be made available, otherwise it wont make any sense.

Additionally, Facebook is going all out to increase mobile usage. Infact, they recently came up with a Rs. 50-per-mobile-registration scheme. This free wi-fi access initiative is sure to positively impact usage of Facebook on mobile.

The part that is to be seen is what Facebook offers to the business owners.

I can already foresee some big names like CCD, COSTA, PANTALOONS and STARBUCKS using this feature. Any big chain’s franchisee will happily associate with this feature, but will the small start ups follow suit? That I guess wholly depends on the first line of this stanza.

Off late Facebook is heavily into making itself more and more business friendly. You can ‘promote’ an update, charges are based on the timing and number times you want it shared, just like normal online advertisements. And these are as customized as they can get. It is like your personal billboard hanging at the largest gathering there is. And you get to decide everything about the people seeing it.

What more does anyone want? (This is not a rhetorical question; you can post your reply in comments)

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