Facebook clearly wants to keep growing its user-base—and it doesn’t matter if it has already surpassed 2 billion monthly active users. One of the ways to do this is by enabling as many people as possible to get access to the internet. From building its popular Aquila internet drone to providing Express Wi-Fi, and now adding a “Find Wi-Fi tool”; Facebook wants to help more people access the internet.
It is easy to understand where the company is heading to or what it has in mind with its new tool. With Find Wi-Fi tool, it can help you find free Wi-Fi hotspot nearby and eventually be able to spend more time using its service.
The Find Wi-Fi tool was first launched by the social media giant last year, but was restricted only to a few areas as well as to iOS users alone. However, yesterday’s announcement from the company showed that the tool is now available to everyone on mobile.
“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,” Facebook’s Engineering Director Alex Himel said in a blog post.
To use the Find Wi-Fi tool on your Android or any phone, simply tap on the ‘More’ tab, and select ‘Find Wi-Fi. You will be presented with close by Wi-Fi locations on a map or list. Facebook will also present you with list of information about companies hosting each of the services.
The tool will be particularly useful to users who travel a lot. While getting strong and consistent signal might be a big issue in some areas, the good thing is that there is often Wi-Fi almost everywhere you go.
However, as with other freebies, it is important to connect to any free hotspot service with caution as this could expose you to some vulnerabilities. One more thing to watch out for is, Facebook’s new tool will only list Wi-Fi networks that businesses have chosen to share their information; so not all free networks will be available.
The tool works with the Location History tracker; so expect this feature to be turned on by Facebook in order to use Find Wi-Fi on your mobile phone.
The social media behemoth launched Express Wi-Fi in India and a few other countries in 2016. “With Express Wi-Fi, we’re working with carriers, internet service providers, and local entrepreneurs to help expand connectivity to underserved locations around the world. We’re currently live in India, and are expanding to other regions soon,” the company said in a statement soon after launching the service in India last November.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was also in Nigeria in 2016 to launch Express Wi-Fi; and may have been encouraged by the country’s population, which is about the biggest in Africa. The company signed an agreement with a local internet service provider called Coollinks to provide the service to Nigerians.