High speed service for high speed travelers
Twitter is looking to score new users by sponsoring a public wifi hot spot in London. St. Pancras International Station is considered to be a “gateway to Europe”, says Twitter in their announcement. They’ve even updated their network and say that users should expect better speed and faster downloads.
Not quite historical
This isn’t the first time social media giants have taken a shot at offering internet service to the masses.
Over a year ago, we reported on Facebook’s plans to offer free global wifi with lasers and drones (seriously). When that didn’t seem to be moving as fast as they were hoping, they shifted a little of their focus onto bringing wireless to rural areas, developing nations and remote areas. And I’m sure you’re aware of Google’s Project Fi, which offers wireless coverage for over 120 countries to fill in the gap.
It all seems pretty selfless, but they’ve still got their best interest in mind.
It makes sense – if you can’t connect to the internet, you can’t use social media.
And if you can’t get the people to come to you, you go to where the people are.
A good marketing move
Twitter UK’s Dara Nasr stated, “I’m delighted anyone with a Twitter account will get access to faster and unlimited WiFi when they’re at St. Pancras.” I’m sure Twitter is very delighted.
This particular station is the home of the Eurostar, a high-speed train that connects London with London with Avignon, Brussels, Lille, Lyon, Marseille and Paris. It will see over 48 million passengers each year.
Though their growth has faltered in the past, especially coming up in an era with such stiff competition, they have marked their place in social media, and this is a great idea for user resurgence.
After all, if you have to log in, you might as well tweet about your traveling plans while you’re at it. Though users will only be able to access the free wifi for four hours, they can use that time to check trending hashtags in the area, and connect with friends and family while they wait. Not a bad idea.
There is no word on any plans to expand this offering outside of the station, but could this be a sign of things to come? Will it catch on? Will this be the next social media brand war – who can provide the fastest free wifi?