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

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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's so-called "check-in" function to broadcast where they are.

Routers have been supplied by Facebook to some local businesses in California, who then promote the wireless service to their customers via their own internet connections.

The blog Inside Facebook was tipped off on the plans by developer Tom Waddington - who first spotted new code in the firm's page insights feature, which is used to build graphs and charts, when it revealed a new entry (social_wifi).

Mark Zuckerberg's outfit later confirmed that it was trialling the service. It said:

We are currently running a small test with a few local businesses of a Wi-Fi router that is designed to offer a quick and easy way to access free Wi-Fi after checking in on Facebook. When you access Facebook Wi-Fi by checking in, you are directed to your local business’s Facebook Page.

It doesn't look as though such a scheme will be rolled out to all Facebookers anytime soon, but such a service might be used by the company for fruitful ad targeting. ®

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