Facebook wants people able to access the web at all times. After all, the average user is very likely to hop to the social networking platform once they get their hands on some Internet. Perhaps with the same reasoning, Facebook is testing a tool that can let users find Wi-Fi around them.
You may or may not remember when this happened, but a while ago, Facebook started asking Pages to list Wi-Fi hotspots at and around their physical addresses. Many were confused by the social networking platform’s interest in this data. However, it appears that the company has finally amassed enough data to start testing this feature.
The benefits of this feature are of course, many and varied. Apart from getting people to open Facebook — and the get engaged by something on the platform — to check out nearby Wi-Fi hotspots, this feature can also potentially boost Facebook Live at some point in the future. How? Well, Facebook Live requires a strong data connection — something that is still woefully lacking over many cellular networks. With access to Wi-Fi, people can have a better time recording Live videos and broadcasting them to their fans.
Of course, when we talk about Wi-Fi, we mean free, public Wi-Fi. It won’t matter if there are a thousand hotspots around you as long as you don’t know the password to any of them. There are a surprising number of free hotspots and by aggregating them at one place, Facebook may make life significantly easier.
On choosing the feature, you are shown a map with the nearby Wi-Fi hotpots represented on it through a ticker.
The feature is still in its infancy. The company probably doesn’t have much data at present. However, we can expect it to keep ramping it up with new hotspots and new locations. Meanwhile, Faceook appears to have rolled it out only to a select few iOS users. We can expect a wider roll out in the near future, now that public testing has already begun.