back to article Facebook trial: Tell everyone where you are, have a Wi-Fi peanut

Facebook is still trying to work out how to convince more people to agree to having their locations tracked by the dominant free-content ad network, so that it can make even more piles of cash out of advertising. It has now begun testing a service in the US that offers "free" Wi-Fi access to Facebook users who use the company' …


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  1. frank ly

    'Check In' on Facebook, .....

    .... open up new browser tab, surf for free?

  2. Lee Dowling Silver badge

    Doesn't seem too bad an idea from a business point of view.

    Offer free wifi, get more people landing on your Facebook page, get people coming in just to do just that, get their friends seeing them being tagged in "at Gino's Cafe" or whatever. Maybe their friends will come along too to come find them.

    From a personal point of view? Free Wifi is near-ubiquitous and I don't use it. I have no guarantee what's happening to the data and what's also trying to talk to me over that connection (e.g. compromised machine also on the same wifi trying to attack mine). I deploy the usual firewalls and restrictions, of course, but Wifi just isn't used when I'm out and about. I use 3G. Because although not perfect, it gives me a damn sight more control over where my data ends up, doesn't require passwords and logins, doesn't cost the earth, and gets me signal in more places than offer free Wifi (and on the road between them, for instance).

    Even up in the Highlands, 3G gave me signal more often than I could find a Wifi hotspot that I could use. And the ones that offered free Wifi (like the pubs etc.) tended to be well-served by 3G anyway. And with any vaguely decent phone, you can share 3G that with all your mates over Wifi and they don't have to worry about the security of their data either. And you don't have to order yourself anything, or have the landlord glaring at you, or wait while they dig out the password, and you don't have to submit to Facebook and spam your friends with the locations of local businesses that you sit in.

    Businesses will like it, but I don't think consumers will use it as often as they think. But, obviously, if you deploy this in a popular or trendy place in New York or London or somewhere, yeah, it'll probably work for you. But I'll never touch it.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The mind boggles.....

    "Freddie is Farcebooking while taking a dump in the local MacDonalds toilet ...."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The mind boggles.....

      McDonalds has free wifi anyway, so this already happens I presume

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      What's the Facebook equivalent of "Twitter S*****r"?

      "Freddie is Farcebooking while taking a dump in the local MacDonalds toilet ...."

      Believe me, the possibility has already been considered, at least for Facebook's partner-in-narcissistic-crime, Twitter:-

      (Possibly NSFW, but it's not goatse or any similar horror if that's what anyone's worried about :-))

  4. Allicorn

    Friends don't let friends use public wi-fi.

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Friends don't let friends use Facebook.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Friends don't let friends don't let friends

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Friends don't let friends use public toilets.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This looks to be the perfect reason for everyone owning more than one FB account.

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

      Or not having one at all...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    " free-content ad network" - "content-free ad network"

    Fixed that for you.

  7. chris lively

    You know, governments could easily get in on this deal.

    Call it a country wide wifi roll out and presto you'd know where every single dumbass was at any given moment.

    1. Caltharian

      we already know at certain times they are all in Parliment

  8. The Alpha Klutz

    location sucks says your friend near London

    who cares?

  9. M Gale

    Any way you could check in with a completely spoofed location?

    Just wondering.

    1. Captain DaFt

      @M Gale

      Better yet, a few friends with phones spoofed to your wifi id, in different cities, logging in sequentially.

      "I'm in London!"

      "Now I'm in France!"

      "Now I'm in Moscow!"

      "Whoo-hoo, In Beijing now!"

      "Dude! It's so nice in LA!"

      "Whoa, New York's looking bad Now."

      "Back in London... New record, around the world in 80 seconds! Verified by Facebook!"

  10. Chris 171

    Boiled down..

    You want some more?


  11. Cheshire Cat

    Wouldnt work here

    All the places in Auckland I've used free Wifi require you to get the day's password at the till after purchase... also, the new "3 strikes and you're disconnected" rule Hollywood have paid^H^H^Hlobbied the NZ government to implement has made places less willing to offer free wifi, since they will now be held liable for anything done using it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wouldnt work here

      Ahhhhh, New Zealand - the only country in the world where you need a License to take a piss - and it still costs you ten cents.

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