Free Wi-Fi for U.K. MySpace users, kind of

The Cloud, a European wireless company, is letting MySpace users access the site from its hotspots as a promotion. Unfortunately it's really just a gimmick.

Social network MySpace has signed a promotional deal to bring free Wi-Fi to its users...but only in the U.K., and only to access MySpace-owned pages.

It's partnered with The Cloud, a European wireless provider that powers broadband access in establishments like hotels, fast-food joints, and airports. MySpace users will now be able to access the social network, which is owned by News Corp., on The Cloud's paid-subscription hotspots. The access company runs about 7,000 of them in the U.K.

Cool idea. It would've been an interesting extension of credential portability if social-network logins could be used to access Wi-Fi hot spots that would otherwise require subscriptions. But with access limited to MySpace (and what happens if something hosted on an external server is embedded in a MySpace profile?), this deal's usefulness is really limited, along the lines of having Starbucks' free wireless access limited to the iTunes Store.

But it's sort of a nifty promotion for the U.K., where Bebo and now Facebook dominate the social-network scene. The test runs until October, and will be cross-promoted on both The Cloud and MySpace.

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