To help you locate open Wi-Fi save on data, Facebook has rolled out a new feature called Find Wi-Fi. It shows users a hotspot map that is tailored to their immediate area wherein locations are highlighted where you would be able to find a connection.
The feature was being tested last year in select countries for iOS and received positive reviews hence, Facebook decided to release it to all their users around the world on both iPhone and Android.
According to a blog post by Alex Himel, Engineering Director at Facebook, “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.”
However, the Find Wi-Fi feature is not a wide-open public Wi-Fi service. So don’t expect to just open your Wi-Fi settings and search for sources of open network. Rather, the maps consist of businesses that have shared with Facebook from their page, as per the blog post.
If and when you are surrounded by hotspots, open the ‘More’ tab and then click ‘Explore’ and you should see the ‘Find Wi-Fi’ option. When the map pops open, you’ll be able to scan the area of your location to use the feature. To avail of it, you will need to allow the Facebook app to access your location.
“So wherever you are, you can easily map the closest connections when your data connection is weak,” Himel’s post added.
According to Mashable, Find Wi-Fi works well in places with weak networks. While testing it, Facebook reps have said that the feature is “especially useful in areas with poor mobile network connectivity.”
This can be seen as another step towards Facebook objective of bringing the world closer together. It will allow everyone, especially Facebook’s strong userbase of 2 billion, to get online more easily and have a access to the digital space.
While the feature is certainly a good way to save your precious data consumption, you will need to have some ounce of network connection to access the hotspot map anyhow. Therefore, if you’re in an area where your mobile network is too weak, that may lead to disappointment. This is the one flaw that’s been pointed out, so far.
Check out the video below to get a better understanding of how to use the feature on Android: