Get Free $500 Coles Voucher Facebook Scam

A new scam message has surfaced the social networking giant Facebook, claiming to offer free $500 Coles gift voucher. The message is a typical survey scam, which asks for your personal and contact information in order to claim the “gift.”

The scam is spreading on Facebook with the following message –

“Claim your free $500 Coles voucher. Only a few left.”

Free $500 Coles Voucher Facebook Scam

Another viariant of this message is: “Coles is offering free $500 vouchers tor users who click a link in the post.”

This is a bogus message, and there is no such official Coles promotion running. Clicking the link provided in the message will take you to a page where you are asked to “like” and “share” the message with your friends. You are then redirected to an online survey page, where you will be asked to enter your contact information such as your email id and mobile phone number.

Entering the details will yield you nothing. The scammers are misusing the details entered by selling them to third-party services. As you can from the above screen shot, the user had fallen for the scam trick, and entered her mobile details. The scammers are now bombarding her with calls and text messages.

It is recommended that you DO NOT click on such links or scam messages on Facebook. If you come across this scam message, please delete/remove the scam from your Facebook news feed immediately. Alternately, you can report the scam to Facebook Security.

Also, as a precautionary measure, always check which applications you use and remove unwanted or suspicious ones. If you aren’t sure how to do it, you can always check our guide on removing apps from Facebook. In addition to that, don’t forget to check out our article about Avoiding Facebook Lifejacking and Clickjacking scams.

Facebook currently has over 950 million users visiting per month, and the social networking giant has always been the main target for spreading scam messages. Although it is quite difficult to identify scams on Facebook, we have provided some tips on How to Identify and Avoid Facebook Scams. Bookmark Techie Buzz Facebook Scams or Subscribe to Scam Alert Feed. We always keep you updated with the latest scams spreading on Facebook.

Facebook User Base Reaches 50 Million Mark in India

Back in 2010, Facebook started their first India operations office in Hyderabad, and the total number of user base in India was roughly around 8 million. Today, two years later, Facebook records that the Indian user base has increased to over 50 million in number.

According to latest reports, Kirthiga Reddy, director of online operations, Facebook India had confirmed to the media in an event organized by Indo-American Chamber of Commerce that, “the user numbers — eight million in 2010 and 50 million in 2012 — tell the growth story. India is one of the countries with the largest number of active users.”

This is an enormous growth for Facebook. The social networking giant is the world’s biggest social network, and is one of the most popular social media tool amongst the Indians. The new records makes India one among the other countries with such a huge number of active users.

 Kirthiga Reddy, Director of Online Operations, Facebook India

The most fascinating thing about this statistic is that an increasing percentage of users access the social site from their mobile phones, which should be pretty convincing enough for Facebook to rethink its business model for India.

For other countries like the US, Kirthiga Reddy states that, “many started using Facebook on desktop, which was first used to get in to the portal, in case of India it was the mobile phone. Most of the 50 million Facebook users are on mobile. Realising this, we have launched Facebook (application) for every phone.”

This could probably get Facebook to bring innovative services via mobile to its Indian user base. One of the highly anticipated services was to make Facebook available in regional languages like Telugu, Kannada, Marathi, and so on.

However, Facebook’s biggest concern is about the age restriction policy, which does not allow children below 13 years of age to use the social networking site. With an increasing number of school kids joining Facebook, it has become a challenging task for the team to take strict actions, however, Kirthiga says that they are coping up with that.

Facebook is also taking up education initiatives for children and parents in order to understand how the network works and how parents can prevent their children from misusing it: “Facebook is like any other medium. When we were growing up, our parents used to tell how much time we should spend watching TV. The same applies for internet too. It is about what you do with the medium,” she said.

Yet another concern for Facebook is the Indian government. In the recent past, we had seen the government of India taking control over social networks and asking them to block certain contents from being posted on their networks. The government has provided certain protocols and requests in order to regulate the network. However, Kirthiga didn’t share the exact number of requests.

Recently, Facebook associated with FICCI in India to help local businesses benefit from the network, which could again help the networking giant get more number of users to the site.

Mark Zuckerberg Says “Facebook Phone” Makes No Sense

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has confirmed in a statement that the company is not planning to step into the hardware world, and is not interested in developing its own version of mobile phone.

During the company’s first-ever quarterly earnings after the it went public, Zuckerberg stated in a statement that the company is not planning on a “Facebook Phone.” When Zuckerberg was asked whether the company needs a mobile device of this own, the CEO said, Facebook is “the most used app on basically every mobile platform. So when we think about what we want to do right now, we want to increase the depth of experience in addition to just growing users.”

He then went on to say that Facebook doesn’t really fit into the hardware world, and developing a mobile device makes no sense – “There are lots of things that you can build in other operating systems as well that aren’t really like building out a whole phone, which I think wouldn’t really make much sense for us to do. So I do think that there’s a big opportunity for us here.”

Mark Zuckerberg

However, Zuckerberg’s statement doesn’t mean that the company will help OEMs, like HTC, to build a smartphone with deeper Facebook integration than the current Android smartphones. Currently, Facebook is working on a deeper integration in iOS device, which enables Facebook users to directly login to Facebook-integrated apps without having to create new accounts.

Although Mark Zuckerberg ruled out the possibility of a “Facebook phone”, Facebook is looking forward to work closely with existing operating systems such as Apple’s iOS. Just before he said the above statements, Zuckerberg said, “We want to support a development ecosystem where other apps can build on top of Facebook.”

Regardless of what Zuckerberg has said, mobile phone is something that is currently the most important thing for Facebook. Facebook users spend a lot of time in Facebook apps. In the Q2 financial results, Facebook revealed that Mobile Monthly Active Users (MMAU) have increased rapidly to 543 million with people showing 67 percent year-over-year growth.

With such a huge growth in mobile users, Facebook is still looking out for a good way to monetize its growing mobile audience.

Earlier this week, Facebook said in an official statement:

“Our mobile strategy is simple: We think every mobile device is better if it is deeply social. We’re working across the entire mobile industry; with operators, hardware manufacturers, OS providers, and application developers to bring powerful social experiences to more people around the world.”

What we could see is a smartphone with better Facebook integration across Android and iOS devices, however, a “Facebook phone” is not something we can expect anytime soon.

Facebook Reports $1.18b in Q2 Revenue, Earning $0.12 Per Share

Facebook has just reported its second quarter financial results, which includes revenues of $1.18 billion, and earning per share of $0.12. This is Facebook’s first-ever quarterly earnings after the company went public with its IPO in May 2012.

Analysts expected that the Q2 revenue figure would be $1.15 billion, which is slightly lesser than what is announced, and shows a 32 percent year-over-year growth. Facebook’s EPS, however, was right in-line with the mean of analysts’ estimates for the quarter. Facebook posted a net loss for the quarter of $157 million.

Facebook Q2 2012 Revenue Report

The $992 million revenue is Facebook’s highest ever revenue earning in advertising, while the $192 million revenue was generated from payments and other fees, mostly selling Facebook credits.

Second Quarter 2012 Operational Highlights

  • Monthly active users (MAUs) were 955 million as of June 30, 2012, an increase of 29% year-over-year.
  • Daily active users (DAUs) were 552 million on average for June 2012, an increase of 32% year-over-year.
  • Mobile MAUs were 543 million as of June 30, 2012, an increase of 67% year-over-year

Shares have hammered Facebook’s Q2 earnings. From its release:

“For the second quarter, GAAP loss from operations was $743 million, compared to income from operations of $407 million for the second quarter of 2011. Excluding share-based compensation and related payroll tax expenses, non-GAAP income from operations for the second quarter was $515 million, compared to $477 million for the second quarter of 2011.”

Facebook also announced that the social networking site closed the second quarter with 955 million monthly active users (MAUs), which is an increase of 29 percent year-over-year. Also, the site had over 552 million daily active users — a 32 percent year-over-year. Mobile monthly active users on the other hand increased rapidly to 543 million people showing 67 percent year-over-year growth.

Facebook Q2 2012 MAU

Facebook has also reported the average revenue per user that it earned during the second quarter. U.S and Canada topped the list with Facebook earning nearly $3.20 per user, while Europe is second on the list with $1.43 per user. Asia, on the other hand showed disappointing results, with generating just $0.55 per user.

Worldwide, the average revenue generated per user for this year’s Q2 is $1.28, which is a little less than the Q1 record of $1.21. However, Q4 of 2011 has been the highest ever for Facebook with $1.38 per user.

Facebook launched several new mobile products, including:

  • A new Facebook Camera app for iPhone
  • An improved version of the mobile messenger app for both iOS and Android, and several updates to the Facebook Android app.
  • Launched global App Center where users can discover relevant apps for mobile and web.
  • Apple announced plans for a deep Facebook integration throughout the next version of Apple’s iOS and OSX.

“Our goal is to help every person stay connected and every product they use be a great social experience,” said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO. “That’s why we’re so focused on investing in our priorities of mobile, platform and social ads to help people have these experiences with their friends.”

Facebook opened at $27.77 on Thursday after the social networking’s top game-maker Zynga, posted disappointing Q2 earnings. Facebook shares closed at $26.84 for the day. Zynga blamed the fall in its Q2 financial due to the recent changes to the Facebook platform.

Olympics 2012 Opening Ceremony Google Doodle

With less than 24 hours left for the mega sporting event to kick start, Google has come up with a colorful doodle on the occasion of Opening Ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics, officially called as the Games of the XXX Olympiad.

As usual, the Google logo is replaced with the new doodle on the search engine giant’s homepage marking the important sport event. The doodle features five athletes on the track holding the letters of the Google logo, with each featuring a respective game.  The Olympic disciplines depicted on the doodle are football, swimming, running/jumping, javelin throw, fencing and basketball.

Google Doodle - London Opening Ceremony 2012

Clicking on the doodle image will take you to the Google search result page for “The Opening Ceremony of the London 2012

According to a user who created a YouTube video, the five athletes represent the five continents: Europe, Asia, North-America, South-America and Africa.

Google also hosted a live Google+ Hangout with reigning 100m, 200m and 4x100m Olympic champion Usain Bolt:

The 2012 Summer Olympic Games is the 30th modern Olympic Games and is scheduled to take off from 27 July, 2012 onwards to 12 August, 2012. There will be over 10,000 athletes from 204 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) taking part in the 2012 London Olympics. The group stages in women’ football began on the 25th July.

Facebook Launches the ‘Recommendations Bar,’ a New Social Plug-in

Facebook has launched a new social plugin for the site called the Recommendations Bar, which helps people filter and find articles based on the “likes” made by their friends. The little bar pops up from the bottom-right of the screen while you’re reading an article and reach the end of it.

Facebook announced the Recommendations bar last year during its f8 conference, and today it has officially launched it. The new plugin works the same way as the current “Like” button; when a user “likes” an article using the Recommendations Bar, the story is posted back on the user’s timeline and friends’ news feed.

Facebook Recommendations Bar

“As a person reads an article, a small pop-up surfaces at the bottom of the screen highlighting recommended articles and prompting them to like the page,” writes Facebook engineer Jeffrey Spehar on the company blog.

For developers and site owners, the integration of the new plugin is pretty simple. All you need to do is copy the provided code from here, and paste it on your site. The functionality is also available as part of the Facebook for WordPress plug-in. However, it is recommended that you use Facebook’s Open Graph mark-ups on your articles for the new Facebook plugin to work correctly.

This is very much similar to the WordPress plugins, upPrev and nrelate Flyout. These plugins are used by site owners to increase, or accelerate more page views, and avoid heavy bounce rates. Many sites, including MashableWetpaint, and The Mirror have replaced the current flyouts with the new Recommendations Bar. In early tests, Facebook reports that sites are seeing 3x the click through on the stories it recommends than through the Recommendations Box.

To learn more and get started with the Recommendations Bar, you can check out the documentation provided by Facebook.

Twitter Goes Down, Again! [Update: Service Returning to Normal]

You must have already noticed that Twitter is currently inaccessible and you are seeing the message — “Twitter is currently down for” when you visit the site via your browser. When we tried accessing the website on Google Chrome, we received an error message as follows –

Twitter Down

As you can see from the above screenshot, Twitter wasn’t loading properly. The images are missing and the message contains some funny characters Ruby on Rails markups.

Users checked if Twitter was down using the service, and many users are unable to reach the site. Twitter is aware of the issue and is currently looking in to it. At the time of writing this post, Twitter issued a statement stating, “Users may be experiencing issues accessing Twitter. Our engineers are currently working to resolve the issue.”

This is second time Twitter is experiencing this problem in the last two months. Last time in June, the company stated that the site was down due to a “cascaded bug.”

Update #1: It appears that mobile version of Twitter is also down, and users are receiving the message “Twitter Error” when trying to access their tweets from Twitter apps and the mobile site There seems to be a huge problem that Twitter is facing.

Update #2: Users are unable to access their tweets from the last one hour. Here’s a Twitter status information graph by DownRightNow

Twitter Down Status History

Update #3: Twitter is back! It looks like service is returning to normal.

Update #4: 

Twitter reports about today’s outage:

The cause of today’s outage came from within our data centers. Data centers are designed to be redundant: when one system fails (as everything does at one time or another), a parallel system takes over. What was noteworthy about today’s outage was the coincidental failure of two parallel systems at nearly the same time.

I wish I could say that today’s outage could be explained by the Olympics or even acascading bug. Instead, it was due to this infrastructural double-whammy. We are investing aggressively in our systems to avoid this situation in the future.

Digg Has to Be Different; 92% Survey Respondents Won’t Recommend Digg

Two weeks back, Betaworks — the one that owns and operates link shortener — acquired the social news site Digg, and in an attempt to revive the site, team has asserted stating that it would redesign the site from scratch in just under six weeks.

The team asked Digg users and users all over the Internet to provide feedback and advice by asking them to fill out a quick survey. The team today has announced the first round results of the Rethink Digg v1 survey; out of the total 3,754 people who took the survey, nearly 92 percent of them said that they would not recommended the current Digg to their friends.

“This level of dissatisfaction does not call for incremental improvement,” Levine said. “The problem we are trying to solve with v1 – how can we deliver the best of what the Internet is talking about right now? – calls for something else.”

Along with this, the v1 results also included some interesting stats on which social networking tool is popular among the all:

How users get their news - ReThink Digg Survey

Reddit and Hacker News topped the list, which is acceptable. However, the strange thing to notice here is that users rely on blogs and online newspaper sites for news, and not Twitter. Twitter falls fourth in the list after blogs and major online newspapers, which is a little surprising.

Another interesting stats the survey brought out is that many users use their phones to read news on the Internet.

Mobile Users - ReThink Digg

What Betaworks has to offer with Digg is unknown. The new Digg, as we know, will certainly not be an evolution of the current Digg, or a Reddit/Hacker News clone. The survey results calls for a different change, and Levine hasn’t revealed anything yet. However, from the facts that we know, what we understand is that the new Digg will revolve around news aggregation, and might also have a mobile version of it. Also, not to forget that Betaworks currently runs, which could be a source of inspiration for the new Digg redesign.

We are not sure on how successful Betaworks is going to be on this. However, our take is that if the new Digg offers something more than what the current aggregators offer, it will sure take off and provide a tough competition. Well, as the saying goes, you will only know the outcome after time has passed. We hope to see great new changes come August 1.

Twitter to Allow Access to Old Tweets and Download Them

If you ever wanted to read a tweet that you posted a few months ago, then you’re out of luck. Unfortunately, Twitter lets you access only the last few thousand tweets that you made, and anything beyond that is not shown.

However, Twitter is now working on a tool that will enable its users to download (Twitter backup) their entire Twitter history, right from the beginning to the last tweet you posted. Twitter’s CEO Dick Costolo said in a meeting with The New York Times, “We’re working on a tool to let users export all of their tweets. You’ll be able to download a file of them.”

This is a great move from Twitter. Allowing to access older tweets is what users have been wanting from a long time. Currently, Twitter users rely on third-party services which help them take backup of their tweets, however, that process is a little cumbersome. Some of the third-party services that enable Twitter users to access their Twitter history are oldtweetsBackupMyTweets, and Beckism.

Twitter Backup

While the Twitter team is figuring out a way to let users download their old tweets, Costolo said that the feature will not be released anytime soon. However, he was confident enough that such a feature will be made available to its users, who will be able to look through their entire history of tweets.

“It’s two different search problems,” he said. “It’s a different way of architecting search, going through all tweets of all time. You can’t just put three engineers on it.”

Other social networking sites allow its users to download their information present on their site. Facebook has the Download Your Information tool, while Google has introduced the Google Takeout feature, which “allows you to download a copy of your data stored within Google products.”

Image credits:

Canon Goes Mirrorless – Unveils Canon EOS M Mirrorless Camera

After some long running rumors, Canon is officially entering the mirrorless camera market with the introduction of Canon EOS M with an EF-M mount and its compatible lenses. The new mirrorless camera shares many of its features with the Canon EOS 650D, including an 18-megapixel APC-sized sensor and a 14-bit DIGIC5 image processor.

The new addition will heavily compete with some of the existing big players including Nikon’s 1, Pentax’s K-01, Panasonic’s G Series, and Sony’s NEX series.

Canon EOS M Mirrorless Camera

Featuring the DIGIC 5 processor, the EOS M is capable of shooting 4.3 frames per second with ISO ranging from 100 to 12,800 (expandable to ISO 25,600). Two new M lenses are available – the EF-M 22mm f/2 STM pancake and the EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM standard zoom.

The new lenses will not have the auto-manual focus switch buttons, or the IS button, however, the user will be able to change this through the camera’s menu. Additionally, Canon is also introducing its Mount Adapter EF-EOS M, which will allow photographers to use their EF and EF-S lenses.

The Canon EOS M is capable of recording full-HD videos with stereo sound. It also comes with an in-camera editing mode that is simple to use in the three-inch Clear View LCD II Touch screen.

The EOS M is a video oriented camera even though it offers several similar features like the Canon 650D. It makes use of Canon’s Hybrid CMOS AF system to deliver fast autofocus speed for both video and photos.

The Canon EOS M will be available for $799.99 from October, with two colors to choose from: black or white. The white version bundled with the new EF-M 22mm f/2 STM kit lens will be exclusively available through the Canon Online store, To use your existing Canon EF and EF-S lenses, the Mount Adapter EF-EOS M can be purchased for an additional cost of $199.99.

Canon EOS M - White

Canon EOS M Key Features

  • New EF-M lens mount (optimized for APS-C sensor size)
  • 14-bit DIGIC5 processor
  • 18MP APS-C ‘Hybrid CMOS’ sensor
  • ISO 100-12800 standard, 25600 expandedCanon EOS M Adapter
  • 4.3 fps continuous shooting, 3 fps with AF tracking
  • Scene Intelligent Auto mode delivers expertly optimized photos and scene detection for amazing results even when shooting at night
  • Advanced imaging features like Handheld Night Scene mode, HDR Backlight Control mode, and seven Creative Filters provide added versatility
  • Multi-shot Noise Reduction helps preserve precious detail in photos at high ISO speeds
  • 1040k dot 3:2 touch-sensitive ClearView II LCD (capacitative type, multi-touch support)
  • Standard EOS hot-shoe for external flash (no built-in flash)

[Press Release]