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Facebook to offer free Wi-Fi?

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Facebook is reportedly testing a system that would offer users free Wi-Fi access in return for check-ins.

According to Wired, Facebook has confirmed that the system is currently being tested with a handful of local businesses. The idea is that the user checks into the business on Facebook. After doing so, the user is shown the business’s Facebook page, and then is able to use free Wi-Fi.

The Wi-Fi is supplied by the business in question, using routers supplied by Facebook. Business owners would also be able to give out Wi-Fi passcodes to customers, allowing them to bypass the check-in stage.

The concept, if Facebook decides to roll it out properly, is intended to give people an incentive to use the check-in option. In turn, this will encourage business owners to create Facebook pages and eventually buy advertising space on the site.

Foursquare is currently more popular than Facebook in terms of check-ins, and it doesn’t need any real incentive other than badges and tips to persuade people to use it. As Wired comments, Foursquare has extended to bars and restaurants where people don’t generally need fast Internet access, and can rely on mobile data to check email and social networking sites.

Would you be tempted to check in at businesses in order to get free Wi-Fi access? Let us know in the comments section below.

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