Facebook is testing a new feature on its app that pinpoints nearest free Wi-Fi on a map. The feature is reportedly available to a very small number of mobile app users, and is currently limited to Facebook for iOS users only.
The new feature being tested is listed under menu option of the Facebook app as “Find Wi-Fi” and prompts users to set location access feature on the app to “always.” The new feature then points to the free and publicly available Wi-Fi hotspots to users on a map and also shows them directions to the nearest location. A user posted a screenshot of the new Facebook feature on Twitter. In anothertweet, the user shared an image that showed Facebook promoting the new feature on top of the page, “There are 8 public Wi-Fi hotspots near you. Turn on Find Wi-Fi to see them.”
The Next Web points out that Facebook started requesting Pages to “list Wi-Fi locations at their physical addresses” recently and this may be the real source of the free Wi-Fi list compiled by Facebook.
The new “Find Wi-Fi” may be a boon for Facebook Live feature that requires a decent Internet speed to live stream.
As of now, there are no user reports that the new “Find Wi-Fi” feature is available for Android users. We tried searching for the new option on the latest Facebook app version but couldn’t find it, and this may mean that Facebook may gradually rollout the feature to users.
To recall, Facebook has previously rolled out similar features to offer free Wi-Fi to users on checking-in. The feature rolled out in 2012 and it granted users’ free Internet access if they do a Facebook check-in.
Facebook in India was testing the Express Wifi service with multiple ISPs (Internet service providers) in the country. Facebook’s Express Wifi was under a pilot run, and was being offered at 125 rural Wi-Fi hotspots.