If you’re on the go and looking for the nearest Wi-Fi hotspot to hop onto, you might want to check Facebook. According to a report from TheNextWeb, Facebook has started testing a feature that directs users to the nearest location with Wi-Fi available.
The Wi-Fi finder feature started appearing in the Facebook app via the menu for some users. It is located along with other location based options like “Nearby Places” and “Device Requests.” An option labeled “Enable Wi-Fi” is included in the menu for users who can access the feature. Toggling the setting on will allow the app to search nearby locations for Wi-Fi.
For those with access to the Wi-Fi finder, a splash page is presented to them that encourages them to enable the feature so Facebook can “build a history of precise locations received through your device.” It also notes tracked information can be deleted through a user’s activity log.
Once enabled, the feature generates a map of nearby locations where Wi-Fi is available, and provides details about and directions to those hot spots. It could be a handy tool for anyone looking for a place to stop to recharge and save some data along the way.
“To help people stay connected to the friends and experiences they care about, we are rolling out a new feature that surfaces open Wi-Fi networks associated with nearby places,” a Facebook spokesperson told VentureBeat.
The feature appears to be available only to limited group of users for the time being, yet to be rolled out to the majority of users on the platform. In a test run by IBTimes on an iPhone with the most recent version of the Facebook app, the feature wasn’t present.
Facebook has likely been laying the groundwork for this feature for some time now. It had previously encouraged owners of pages on the site—often businesses and other establishments—to identify if they offered Wi-Fi at their location.
The feature also helps bolster Facebook’s reputation for helping users get online, which has been one of its driving principles with its Internet.org initiative (though the program has had its fair share of controversy ). The Wi-Fi finder would be a good fit on the Facebook Lite app, a version of the popular social network that devours less data that was made available to users in developing countries.