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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
"That's probably the most leveraged thing they can do using the
data," Mr. Tseng said.
Merchants can allow patrons to access the Cisco-enabled wifi
without logging in with Facebook, said Mr. Tseng. People can also
choose to keep their check-ins private or expose them to their
Facebook friends, depending on their Facebook settings. Frequent
visitors of a particular place of business can also choose to
automatically check-in to that location's wifi via the Facebook
Facebook will not track any web browsing activity or any other
interactions through the wifi system once people check-in to wifi
spots through Facebook, Mr. Tseng said.
Facebook has found interest in the service among retailers,
restaurants, conference centers, amusement parks, and even
churches, he said.