Facebook wants more people to offer up physical location data at small local businesses. The lure is free wifi through its partner, Cisco.
Following a test period that originated last year at Philz Coffee locations in the San Francisco Bay area, 1,000 merchants across 50 countries now enable a wifi system with a Cisco backbone and Facebook consumer-facing front end.
Merchants using the wifi system can target ads to audience segments comprised of people who have visited their establishments. However, considering those audience pools may be relatively small, the data derived through the wifi check-ins is more likely to help advertisers get a better handle on the types of people who visit their stores. So, merchants are likely to use the added layers of data to help find larger groups of people to target via Facebook ads.