As portable computing and communication grows, many smartphone and tablet users rely primarily on wireless telecom service for connections. This service can be spotty, and very expensive. Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) has expanded its service which allows people to find Wi-Fi signals, often a better and less expensive connection than telecom 4G. The service will expand so that it operates globally, according to the world’s largest social network.
Facebook management wrote in a blog post:
Today we’re beginning to roll out Find Wi-Fi everywhere in the world on iPhone and Android. We launched Find Wi-Fi in a handful of countries last year and found it’s not only helpful for people who are traveling or on-the-go, but especially useful in areas where cellular data is scarce.
Find Wi-Fi helps you locate available Wi-Fi hot spots nearby that businesses have shared with Facebook from their Page. So wherever you are, you can easily map the closest connections when your data connection is weak.
To find Wi-Fi hotspots, open your Facebook app, click on the “More” tab and then “Find Wi-Fi.” Once in the “Find Wi-Fi” tab you may need to turn it on. You can then browse the closest available hotspots on a map, and learn more about the businesses hosting them.
One catch is that many of the hotspot connections are not free. However, as Facebook management knows, in a large number of places there are no alternatives
The service is part of what Facebook does best, which is to tether its users more tightly to itself so that they rely extensively on the social network for several means of communication from personal posts to Instagram. One of Facebook’s attraction to marketers is the the large number of hours users spend on it every month. Find Wi-Fi is yet another example of that.