1 Dec

In the News: Facebook Tests An In-Store Gateway to Internet Access

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In a win-win for Facebook and businesses, Facebook has begun testing a “social wi-fi” service according to this article on CNET. With Facebook supplying the router, and the business supplying the internet, it would work similar to the processes set-up in hotels in that, when a customer first connects to the wi-fi network, they would be redirected to that businesses Facebook page where they would be prompted to “Like” the businesses’ page in order to access the internet. The upside for a business is that it could increase page “Likes” and engagement through the ability to offer Facebook deals to those customers as they log-in. The benefit for Facebook is all about data. Every time a consumer completes the log-in, they are providing Facebook with valuable data which would then assist them in improving Facebook ad performance and targeting. For those consumers who do not have Facebook accounts and/or do not wish to use them to log-in, there will be an option for the consumer to log-in via a password supplied by the business. In our opinion, however, most people will trade the convenience of logging in via Facebook, and the benefit of free internet access, for a simple “Like” as people are being more and more conditioned to trade personal information in exchange for something free. The perfect place to implement this idea would be the service waiting area where a businesses’ wi-fi is most commonly used and available. As this is in the testing phase, it remains to be seen whether it will come to reality for the masses BUT, it would be interesting to see whether, if Facebook abandons this idea, a business could set this up themselves.