For all intents and purposes, the holiday season is already here (we know, we know). And just in time to leverage the deluge of shoppers soon to hit the malls, Cisco has teamed up with Facebook to provide customers free WiFi access along with targeted promotions and ads. The just-announced Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX) for Facebook Wi-Fi service lets you hop online at participating retail locations by simply connecting to the local network and checking in on Facebook. From there, you'll be able to view information about the retailer, including special promotions and other news. On the business side, the benefits are obvious: more check-ins means more brand recognition, and companies will get plenty of (anonymous) customer data to analyze. For shoppers, on the other hand, it's free WiFi and a targeted ad experience, complete with potential perks.
Cisco and the social network ran a pilot of the program in Toronto last month, and the service is currently up and running at two Bloomin' Brands Bonefish Grill restaurants in the US. Expect a much wider rollout soon, though; according to Cisco's Sujai Hajela, CMX will be available "across some of the world's top brands in retail, hospitality and other markets." Hit up the source link for more info.