Free WiFi for US Starbucks customers
USA Today reported today that Starbucks will be offering a free WiFi service for it’s US customers. As part of their ‘Rewards’, a program a loyalty card which gives customers various free or discounted products, customers who visit at least once a month will be eligible for 2-hours of surfing a day.
In social activities terms, it shows the vast shift to the digital world that the world and specifically the US is making. However, for the chain themselves they could be positioning themselves to become more of a chilled out managed office space. A place where people can geek out, have meetings and drink good coffee rather than their goal of a place to meet unless they have understood that people would prefer to meet online rather than in person?
One thing is for sure the hourly cost that is currently on offer in the UK on most wifi hot-spots be in in airports, cafes or bars, while not completely prohibative does stop it from turning full circle into an old school ‘internet cafe’.