Check-in on Facebook, Get Free Wi-Fi?

    November 2, 2012
    Josh Wolford
    Comments are off for this post.

Small and medium-sized businesses have now had a few years to incentivize the “check-in.” Between Foursquare, Facebook, and other networks that offer location broadcasting, businesses have found that check-ins can lead to social buzz. And because check-ins get their business’ name floating around social networks, they will sometimes offer specials to customers for their check-ins.

Now, a new program from Facebook is allowing small businesses to trade their Wi-Fi for check-ins.

The very small test was first unearthed by Tom Waddington, who has a history of rooting Facebook tests and secrets out of code. What he found was a new category for “like sources” among the page insights. The new source was called “Social Wi-Fi,” and the description reads as follows:

“People who liked your Page after checking in via Facebook Wi-Fi.”

“Facebook Wi-Fi.” Facebook confirmed the small test to Inside Facebook:

“We are currently running a small test with a few local businesses of a Wi-Fi router that is designed to offer a quick and easy way to access free Wi-Fi after checking in on Facebook. When you access Facebook Wi-Fi by checking in, you are directed to your local business’s Facebook Page.”

So – check-in, get access to Wi-Fi. Pretty simple. Facebook provides the router and the business provides the internet. Facebook’s statement makes it clear that this is not a “like-gated” wi-fi program. Hopefully, for small businesses, the checking-in will lead to likes, but customers wouldn’t have to like the page to receive the wi-fi.

Of course, Facebook runs tons of tests all the time, many of which never see primetime. But this seems like a logical evolution of the Facebook check-in. Do you think small businesses could benefit from a check-in gateway that directs wi-fi-seekers to their Facebook pages?

[Lead Image Courtesy erikadotnet, Flickr]

  • Jason

    The idea is not new. Companies like hotspotsystem.com is offering this service for months now but in a more advanced way.

  • http://Mabuzi.com Kevin

    You dont have to be in the shop to check in, so this is kind of buying checkins which Google, Yelp trying to fight paid endorsements. So in the mall in the coffee shop you get say John’s Jeans chek in and free wifi??
    FB dont seem to care if manipulation or data breaches occur just spend spend spend.