Facebook And Cisco To Offer 'Free' Wi-Fi For A Check-In
Posted: October 4, 2013 by Alex Chan
To make everyone happy, Facebook and Cisco have teamed up to provide 'free' Wi-Fi Internet access to consumers at public places such as hotels or retail stores using their Facebook log-in. The Internet access will be 'free', provided the user checks in. This means everyone will have to have a Facebook account in order to get a free Wi-Fi connection to the web.
The two companies revealed the news in a joint statement Wednesday, also claiming that they are about to expand their small but fruitful pilot of the system in around 1,000 small and medium-sized businesses.
The pilot has been already running in Toronto for a month and it's currently up and running at two Bloomin' Brands Bonefish Grill restaurants in the United States. A much wider rollout of the service, "across some of the world's top brands in retail, hospitality and other markets," is expected soon.
On the business side, the advantages are more than obvious: more check-ins equals broader brand recognition as well as plenty of "anonymous" customer data (age, gender and interests of the customers).
Facebook, of course, has taken part of this Wi-Fi-with-check-in initiative in order to encourage merchants to set up and maintain Pages on the social network. Thus, it will cement even more its leading status among networking sites.
The small minority who don't have Facebook accounts or don't want to sign in using Facebook will still be able to access the Wi-Fi by entering a code. However, it will be up to the business whether they provide their customers with it or not.