Facebook’s product manager for the special products group, Erick Tseng, spoke at length this week about the site’s plans to expand into both Wi-Fi Internet connections and wearable technology. Tseng said that Facebook is currently working with merchants like Cisco to provide “Facebook Wi-Fi,” a technology that would allow users to gain Internet access by simply logging into their Facebook account. Of course, this information could be used for all sorts of purposes, not the least of which is geo-specific targeted advertising.
Tseng also said that Facebook is deeply interested in exploring wearable technologies, like the still-developing Google Glass headset.
“There’s nothing stopping these devices from becoming interesting computers. There’s so much data that’s consumed and generated from these devices,” he said. “We find that the core values around it [are] going to be around identity and what you value … Wearables really come to life when you use them to connect to other people, not just collect data.”
Though Facebook is often at the cutting edge of online innovation, it’s easy to look at their efforts to connect with users as simply a means of delivering data to advertisers. With more and more young people leaving the site because of privacy concerns and a lack of photography, however, the site may be incorporating wearable technologies simply to keep up with the curve.