Facebook offers 'free' Wi-Fi in exchange for check-ins

Hotels and other businesses will require users to check in at their Facebook Pages to get free Wi-Fi

A check-in page for Facebook Wi-Fi

More hotels, shops and other businesses will soon be offering free Wi-Fi to customers if they agree in return to "check-in" at the business from their Facebook account.

It's the result of a partnership between Facebook and Cisco Systems that's been in pilot since last year and is now being rolled out more broadly, the companies said Wednesday.

To take part, businesses must first load a piece of Facebook software onto their Cisco router. When a customer opens a Web browser they're taken to a page that asks them to "check in" using their Facebook login. In return they get access to the Wi-Fi.

Businesses can benefit because the check-ins give them more exposure on Facebook. The social network will also give them information about the people who check in, like their age, sex and location, which the businesses can use for marketing programs. Facebook says it will provide "aggregated, anonymous" data, meaning it won't be linked to individuals.

"Businesses can analyze this data to better understand their customer's preferences and deliver targeted promotions," Facebook said, "ultimately improving their advertising and marketing campaigns."

Facebook benefits, too, because it encourages businesses to set up Facebook Pages and possibly run more ads on Facebook. And it helps Facebook keep the attention of its users, who can also get free Internet access from Google at places like Starbucks.

The offer extends a pilot that saw about 1,000 Wi-Fi deployments at small and medium-sized businesses in 50 countries. The program announced Wednesday is designed to target larger companies, a Facebook spokeswoman said.

Some of the world's best-known businesses are piloting the service, according to Cisco, though it didn't name many. It said the restaurant chain Bonefish Grill is testing the service at two restaurants in the U.S.

The program could also help businesses target their advertising campaigns for customers checking in on mobile devices. Mobile is an important channel because more than 50 percent of consumers use mobile phones while shopping in a store, Cisco said.

If people don't want to sign in using Facebook, they'll still be able to access the Wi-Fi by entering a code, Facebook said, though presumably it will be up to the business whether they provide them with it.

Comments

Comments are now closed.

Supporting Association

Mr. Rudy has found the right direction to marketing Catch of the Day and paying attention to customer comments and complaints. The simpl...

Desiree Segal

Catch of the Day retailer hooks fresh customer insight with NPS

Read more

True. Australian Marketing, Advertising, News, PR and Sales Fails Big Time due to using old techniques and not adapting to ICT - can be r...

Joe

Marketing must take charge of innovation, says TBWA chairman

Read more

Step 1) Employ your own workforce. Step 2) Show the public network being built. Step 3) Let the public advertise your brand in return f...

Jason

NBN Co creates head of social strategy role

Read more

Regardless of who is supposedly "running" this farce, those in charge of construction and development of the NBN roll-out have no real in...

Ian Gordon

NBN Co creates head of social strategy role

Read more

If you can't roll out a decent network then employ a bunch of people to try and convince to they are. Shame that no matter how much they ...

Pilfer

NBN Co creates head of social strategy role

Read more

Sign in