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February 01, 2011

In-Flight Facebook Access Granted for Free Thanks to Gogo/Ford Partnership

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor
Travelers who like to stay connected through social networking sites are sure to be excited about a partnership between Gogo Inflight Internet and Ford Motor Co.

According to this Business Insider reportsocial entertainment company GixOO has developed real-time video communication environments using its Rounds.com platform, which was launched in 2008. Rounds is a Web-based meeting place where users can connect, chat, go on virtual dates, and play games together in real-time on Facebook (News - Alert).
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Earlier this week, Facebook announcedthe launch of Places Deals in the U.K. and Europe. This service is designed to allow users to check-in to shops, businesses and locations through their smartphone to get special offers, discounts and coupons for outlets that partner with the social network.

The social networking giant also recently declared it virtual currency of credits mandatory. TechCrunch writes that the news will “ruffle some feathers.” According to Jason Kincaid, “We’re hearing from one source that the social network is reaching out to game developers to inform them that it is making its own, official Facebook Credits currency mandatory. Our understanding is that it will be the exclusive currency as well.” , Facebook is a favorite for travelers using Gogo and free access to the Facebook site will be offered on seven U.S. airlines through the month of February.

Travelers booking their trips on AirTran Airways, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, US Airways and Virgin America will be able to use their WiFi (News - Alert)-enabled laptops, smartphones and PDAs to update Facebook status, post photos of in-flight activities and chat online with friends.

Once airborne and permission has been granted for WiFi use, travelers select the Gogo WiFi network, open a browser and click on the Ford/Facebook banner.

Ford won’t be happy if you don’t spend a little time thinking about your next car purchase in the process.

The company has leveraged social media in the past to launch new products and is taking advantage of traveler Facebook use to gain greater – and more targeted – exposure.

Travelers who take advantage of the Gogo/Ford Facebook promotion will gain access to photos and videos of Ford’s new lineup. Users are also free to ignore the photos and videos and get on with their social networking goals. At the same time, if users do visit Ford’s new lineup, they’ll have the opportunity to immediately share their opinions with friends – which can be both good and bad.

In other Facebook news, TMCnet recently reported
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi