updated 11:03 am EDT, Fri November 2, 2012
Small test with local vendors giving users free Wi-Fi for checking in
Facebook has teamed up with local businesses to give mobile device users and Facebook members access to free Wi-Fi hotspots at their locations if they check-in over the social network. Facebook confirmed the scheme, though downplayed it as a "small test with a few local businesses" and didn't go on to name any of the partners, CNET reported. Once users access the hotspot, they will be taken to the host businesses Facebook page, where they will need to check in.
Once users do so, they may also get some e-coupons or view daily specials through the vendor's Facebook page, though this depends on each individual vendor. The move should encourage users to check in, which will add to Facebook's database of knowledge, allowing it and the participating vendors to target ads at users and potential customers.
The Facebook routers will also be accessible by Facebook users who don't want to check in or those without accounts by entering a password they will need to get from the vendor.
If or when the scheme will be released on a wider, cross-country scale remains to be seen.