Facebook by means is testing a new feature for its mobile apps that allows users to find free WiFi hotspots nearby, with it seemingly rolling out to select users, primarily on the iOS app.
The social networking firm always test new feature on real users, so that the base of Facebook mobile apps allows the company implement changes without the need for a new update iteration. Importantly, this also means that Facebook can roll changes out to as many, or as few users as it wants without having to flick the switch that means anyone with a Facebook account will get full access to whatever is being tested at that time. Clever!
Kind of controlled testing that appears to be underway for an unannounced addition to Facebook’s mobile apps – WiFi access point locating.
For a while now, Facebook has been asking owners of Facebook Pages to provide data on WiFi access points that are at their physical location. It appears to be this data, likely affiliated with other sources, which now looks to be forming at least part of what makes this new feature tick.
The changes that are not visible when you check, but if you do have access to it, you should see a new Find WiFi option in the Facebook app’s menu. Unfortunately, we don’t yet know of anyone with an Android device having access to the new WiFi locating feature within the Facebook app, meaning those with iOS devices appear to make up the whole test base so far. As we already mentioned that, not all iOS device owners will see the new feature and it’s unclear whether this testing, and your access to it, depends on location either.
Anyone who finds themselves on the lookout for free WiFi access will no doubt make good use of such a feature addition built into Facebook, so it makes sense that the company would be looking forward into it.
Time will tell whether this turns into a fully fledged feature though, so don’t be surprised if it never sees the light of day.
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