Facebook is Free and Always Will Be

Imagine if Facebook charged its users a $10 monthly fee, and assuming that 90% of the users paid the fee, then Facebook would have made a whopping $86.4 billion in just one year. That is like 20 times more than Facebook’s current revenue rate.

Recently Facebook made some changes to the appearance of profiles and added some new features, which the users found it too annoying. However, despite the changes being rolled out to most of the users, there have been updates and messages posted by users indicating that Facebook will be charging a monthly fee to all users for the new revamped profile.Facebook

The hoax has been spreading for a while now, from one profile to another, where users are copy-pasting the message to alert their friends about the charges. The message states that Facebook has released three different plans from which users can choose from.

It includes Gold membership for $9.99/month, Silver membership for $6.99/month and Bronze membership for $3.99/month. However, it also states that the charges will be waived off if users copy-paste the message on their wall. Well, this is the heart of the message, which is mainly leading users to spread the hoax.

FACEBOOK JUST RELEASED THEIR PRICE GRID FOR MEMBERSHIP. $9.99 PER MONTH FOR GOLD MEMBER SERVICES, $6.99 PER MONTH FOR SILVER MEMBER SERVICES, $3.99 PER MONTH FOR BRONZE MEMBER SERVICES, FREE IF YOU COPY AND PASTE THIS MESSAGE BEFORE MIDNIGHT TONIGHT. WHEN YOU SIGN ON TOMORROW MORNING YOU WILL BE PROMPTED FOR PAYMENT INFO…IT IS OFFICIAL IT WAS EVEN ON THE NEWS. FACEBOOK WILL START CHARGING DUE TO THE NEW PROFILE CHANGES. IF YOU COPY THIS ON YOUR WALL YOUR ICON WILL TURN BLUE AND FACEBOOK WILL BE FREE FOR YOU. PLEASE PASS THIS MESSAGE ON IF NOT YOUR ACCOUNT WILL BE DELETED IF YOU DO NOT PAY

Beware that this is a fake message and there is no such thing has membership feewhich you need to pay in order to use the new profile. Facebook was free, Facebook is free and Facebook will remain free to all users.

When you’re signing in to Facebook from the main page (facebook.com), you can see a message that states – It’s free and always will be.At least this should make you realize that the above spreading message is a fake. Facebook is NOT going to ask you for your payments, and there isn’t any official announcement made by Facebook. So, don’t waste your time by spreading this hoax and spamming the social network.

Facebook has announced that the above message is a rumor and has no plans to charge its users.

Facebook - No plans to charge users

However, if Facebook did introduce something like paid plansor paid verified accounts, then it might work out for them. There a number of fake celebrity accounts and with all the increasing number of scams, tracking cyber criminals would be a lot easier. It would also be easier to identify real celebrity accounts if they have a verifiedbadge pinned to their profile. Thinking of the odds, this might also lead to deletion of account as other networking sites like Twitter and Google Plus offer the verification process for free.

There are also fair chances of introducing paid add-on services on the social network, which it announced during the f8 2011 conference. One such add-on service would be Spotify’s music service. It has partnered with Facebook which will allow users to stream tracks directly from the news feed or from one’s own profile. It was announced that the service will be available for free, but Spotify hopes that this new level exposure to Facebook’s enormous user base will help drive paid subscriptions.

How To Enable Facebook Timeline

Facebook announced some new features to the site along with the introduction of the revamped newsfeed, Ticker and Lists. During the f8 conference yesterday, Mark Zuckerberg and his team announced a new feature called the Timeline – which is a visual representation of your life and the events surrounding it.

Mark Zuckerberg at f8 Conference 2011

The feature is something totally new and wonderful, and in a unique way expresses a person’s identity. The feature is currently in beta and can be accessed by developers only. This article shows how you can enable Timeline for your Facebook account.

Before I tell how you can enable the Facebook Timeline, let me explain you the various sections it has. The topmost portion of the timeline has a large space for a lead photo, which allows you to add an image to make your page look attractive. At the bottom-left it has your standard default overlapping display picture.

The next portion is called the Cover, which basically has your personal information, friends’ list, photos, likes, votes and so on. The next section serves as a dock for all your activities (stories) you do on Facebook. Here the section is split into two columns which are presented with all the activities chronologically. It also contains the Recent Activitysection and also a box to update your current status.

To know more about Facebook Timeline, click here.

Enable Facebook Timeline

#1 To enable Facebook Timeline, the first step you need to do is to activate the Developer status for your account. To do this, login to your Facebook account and type “developer” into the Facebook search bar. Click on the first result, and add the app (Or click here to directly go to the app page).

#2  You will be asked to grant permissions for the app to access your basic information like name, profile picture, user ID and so on. Click on “Allow” and you will be taken to the Developer page. Click on the “Create New App” button. Provide a display name, app namespace and click “Continue”.

New Facebook App

#3  Now you will be taken to your app’s main settings page. On the left sidebar, click the “Open Graph” link. You have to enter the action and object in order create a test action for your app, like “watch” a “movie” or “read” a book”.

Facebook Open Graph

#4  On the next screen, just scroll down to the bottom and click “Save Changes and Next”. It might take a couple of minutes to save, so be patient until it loads the next page. Continue this for the next two pages. When you finished with the saving process, you will land on a page something like this –

Facebook Open Graph

#5  Now go back to your Facebook home screen and you will notice an invite on top of the page to try the Timeline feature. Click on “Get it now” and you’re done.

Facebook Timeline

Get Back the Old Facebook User Interface – A Working Trick

Facebook made major changes to its user interface earlier this week, and most of the users found it annoying. They are not just annoyed, but also confused on how the new features function. Users were pretty happy and adapted to the previous UI, which was user friendly and easy to use. However, the new changes to the UI has drawn confusions and put things upside down.

Along with the UI changes, came the real-time updates feature called Ticker. The Ticker basically updates every second with new comments, likesand tags made by friends. It is annoying because users don’t really want to know what exactly is  happening over  Facebook. For instance, I have 700+ friends on Facebook, and I’m not concerned about who my friend adds or whose comment he/she likes.

According to Facebook, the Ticker, on the right-hand side of your account, lets you see all your friends’ activity in real-time. When you hover over an item on ticker, you can see the full story and join the conversation as it happens. Ticker updates itself as stories happen. This gives you a more complete picture of what your friends are doing, right now.

Real-time updates work great with Twitter, but not with Facebook, and I think Facebook should probably stop copyingfeatures from other social networking sites. Although the new features are annoying, there are ways to revert back to the old Facebook UI, and disable the Ticker as well.

You might have come across blogs indicating the trick to get back the old Facebook UI by changing the preferred language to English (UK), and indeed the trick stopped working as Facebook fixed the issue. However, there is still a way to get back the old UI, and interestingly it works in a similar fashion by changing the preferred language.

How to get back to the old Facebook interface?

Change the preferred language to a foreign language other than English (US and UK). For instance, I have changed the language to German. If you’re a Google Chrome user, you will immediately be prompted to translatethe page into English.

Before you click on the translate button, click on the Optionsbutton and select Always translate German to English. Now refresh or open Facebook in a new tab, and you will notice that every time you open Facebook, the page will be automatically translated to English. That way you will see the old Facebook interface and the Ticker disabled.

Facebook - Google Translate

Here’s a screenshot of the page automatically being translated to English –

Translate to English - Facebook

Here’s a screenshot after it has translated –

Facebook Transalte

If you’re a Firefox user, try using the Facebook Translate add-on. However, I’ll definitely update this post if I find an alternate solution for Firefox users.

Everybody Hates the New Facebook News Feed and Live Ticker

People are annoyed with Facebook, and are trying to run away from social networking. All thanks to the Facebook’s news feed revamp, which has left users not just annoyed, but also confused and clueless. When I logged in to Facebook today, I saw a boatload of friends posting and commenting, Hate the new design”, “dislike news feed”, “complicated”, “Facebook gets shitter” and more such messages.

Hate the New Facebook News Feed

Facebook rolled out some major changes  to the news feed, which breaks it down into two columns – top stories and recent posts, and also included a new ticker-like column with live updates from friends on the right-had side of the page. These changes come only one week after  Facebook announced improved friend list capabilities.

Certainly these changes could have served as improvementsto the social network only if Facebook had made it simple and easy to understand. The changes have drawn a lot of complaints as users on Facebook are creating pages and communities to express their annoyance, with most of the complaints pertaining to “confusion” and messy.

Hate New Facebook News Feed

Facebook has implemented the new Ticker, which basically emulates Twitter’s real-time messages and updates. Earlier in August, Facebook was testing this feature, and rolled it out to an increasing number of users. However, the feedback that Facebook got was negative, but looks like it hasn’t taken it seriously, and has gone ahead to make it available to all users. Nevertheless, you can hide the ticker or the sidebar by simply clicking the arrow button on the bottom-right corner of the page.

Hate the Facebook Ticker

The other feature that came along was the Lists, inspired from Google+ Circles, which lets you organize your friends into groups like Family, Colleagues, Close Friends, and so on. It is also planning to roll out the Subscribebutton, similar to Twitter, which will allow you to –

  • Choose what you see from people in News Feed
  • Hear from people, even if you’re not friends
  • Let people hear from you, even if you’re not friends

From the above new features, it looks like Facebook  is trying to integrate features from other networking sites. This however isn’t really a good step taken by Facebook, but rather an unwantedone. Users are already annoyed with the new features, and finding ways to disable it or get back to old Facebook news feed.

A trick that allowed users to get back the old news feed was by changing the preferred language to English (UK). However, a fix is being rolled out by Facebook and this trick is not working anymore. Although Facebook users are annoyed about the new features, it still continues to grow, with over 750 million users and counting. Recently, Facebook crossed the 1 trillion page views mark, making it the first ever website to cross the milestone.

Facebook Experimenting a New White Lightbox Photo Viewer

We have seen a number of changes and upgrades that Facebook has done in order to analogue and compete with the newly launched social network, Google Plus. Recently Facebook introduced the new lightbox photo viewer, which many users found quite annoying, and were finding ways to disable it.

When a user clicks on an image, the lightbox appears with a dark background along with the comment box. However, I noticed a different lightbox today, and I guess Facebook is experimenting and will probably change the appearance of the lightbox. The new expectedlightbox which I noticed today had a white background instead of black, and along with it, the image had Like, Commentand Tag Photolinks embedded on it.

Here’s the screenshot –

Facebook New White Lightbox

It also had the usual right and left arrow buttons which are used to view the next or previous photo in the album. The embedded links appear even without the lightbox. I opened the image in a new tab (opening an image in a new tab will disable the lightbox) and noticed the same links on the image –

Facebook New Lightbox

I refreshed the page and clicked on the same image to view in lightbox. Interestingly, I noticed that the right and left arrow buttons vanished. I wondered how to go to the next image. I clicked on the right side of the image, and I was taken to the next image. Clicking on the left side of the image took me to the previous image. Arrows were better, I felt.

Facebook Experimenting New White Lightbox

Nevertheless, users have already started to hate the new feature. The light gray and white background makes the image impossible to see, and it does hurt the eyes!

Facebook Light Annoying

This however indicates that the Facebook team is currently working and trying out several different changes to see which would be feasible to implement.

It’s unsure whether Facebook will push forward and roll out this change to all users,  however  it is certainly interesting to see Facebook taking things seriously to avoid people migrating to Google+ as it continues to gain popularity.

Thanks to the Google Translate team, which introduced the Translatefeature on Google+, where users can translate posts and comments into more than 50 languages. The feature is new and isn’t available on Facebook, hence the Facebook team is experimenting to introduce a similar feature which will break the language barrier and help users translate posts and comments to various other languages. Currently, Facebook is experimenting with languages like Chinese, French, Hebrew, and Spanish, but more languages are expected to be added.

Whether or not the new white lightbox will be rolled out, it definitely will continue to annoy users on Facebook. Do you really think that this change would be useful? Let us know by adding your comments below.

Nicki Minaj Sex Tape – Exclusive!!! – Facebook Scam

Update: Another scam about Nicki Minaj is being spread on Facebook with the message “Nicki Minaj Gets Caught on Tape (LEAKED Tape)“, so please stay away from it.

A new scam on  Facebook  is underway, which claims to show a sex video of the hip hop and R&B recording artist, Nicki Minaj who recently rose to fame after becoming a member of the rapping group Young Money.

The scam titled – “NlCKl MlNAJ S E X TAPE – EXCLUSIVE!!!” comes along with a description which reads – “Her boyfriend gave this tape to a BBC Reporter. Watch it live before it is taken down by her lawyers” is a click-jacking scam, and is spamming the entire social network.

Niki Minaj Sex Tape - Facebook Scam

The scam is spreading in different version. One of the versions will take you to a bogus BBC News webpage, which contains an image that appears like a YouTube video player. Clicking on the play button will click-jack and like-jack your Facebook account, and will automatically post the message on your wall. The message will spread across your friends news feed, who will then be a victim of the scam.

After clicking on the play button, you will be redirected to another page where you will be asked to complete a set of online surveys. However, even after completing all the surveys, there isn’t any video shown.

The other version of the scam is a  Facebook  application. The application will request you to grant permissions to post messages on your Facebook wall. By granting permissions to the app, the app will constantly start spamming your wall with the scam message. The app might also gain access to your personal information and photos.

I recommend that you avoid clicking on the scam message if you come across it. It is dangerous to click on unsolicited URLs as it may automatically download malware programs, which are designed to gather user credentials like username, password and credit card details, and email them to cyber-criminals without your knowledge. Recommend your friends to avoid clicking on this message or alert them by sharing this post.

If you come across this post, you know what to do. Delete it! Alert your friends by asking them not to share or likethe message. Alternatively you can report the scam to the  Facebook  Security  team. Also, please  go through the official document released by Facebook, which will definitely help you tackle scam messages. The document is available for free and you can  download  a copy of it from the  Facebook Security Page.

We have also compiled a list of  Most Actively Spreading Scams on Facebook  that you might want to have a look at. In addition to that, don’t forget to check out our article about  Avoiding Facebook Likejacking and Clickjacking scams. Don’t forget to share this post with your  friends  and  alert  them about the scam.

We constantly report scams and hoax messages that are spreading on Facebook. You can always stay updated by bookmarking this link –  techie-buzz.com/scams

Jerry Yang to Buy Yahoo; Top Shareholders Set to Fire Yahoo! Board of Directors

While Yahoo’s former Chief Executive Carol Bartz who didn’t really deserve the post and had to be ousted, there are a lot of speculations that are cooking up all over the web. A U.S. based business/internet news blog Business Insider noted a rumor that Yahoo’s co-founder and one-time CEO is planning to buy the company – most probably by acquiring 50 percent of the shares, and take control over it, again.

However, Chairman Toy Bostock isn’t really pleased with it, and doesn’t want Yang to take control over the company. Perhaps a lot many people would rather not want to see Yang back in action again.

Jerry Yang

The only reason why Yang could possibly be interested in buying Yahoo is because the company’s shares shot up after the departure of Bartz. Yang currently holds 3.63 percent of Yahoo’s share, while his fellow co-founder, David Filo, owns 5.80 percent.

However, one of Yahoo’s top shareholders Third Point, which owns nearly 5.1 percent of the company said in a letter to Chairman Roy Bostock, demanding to sweep changes in both the Board of Directors and the Company leadership. The letter indicates that the current board has made inappropriate decisions, one of which stated that the board was quite reckless to hire Carol Bartz as Yahoo’s CEO, who
Yahoo literally lacked experience in advertising and Web 2.0

Here’s a quote from the letter –

It is time for new leadership at Yahoo.   Yahoo’s investors, employees, clients and users deserve it.     We look forward to having what is great about Yahoo make headlines, encouraged and communicated by new CEO and Board leaders.

The letter also states that Jerry Yang and the board “made a gross error” for rejecting the offer of $33 a share from Microsoft in May  2008, which is depressing and frustrating at Yahoo’s current stock price of 13.61 per share. CEO of Third Point Daniel S. Loeb, in his letter has mentioned the most valid points, and I’m sure the other stakeholders are likely to agree with it.

Although Yang has no real chances to own the company, shareholders would definitely get a new set of team on board, and help generate enough revenue and increase its share price.

Dedicate Facebook Status Updates to 9/11 Victims with “9/11 Memorial” Facebook App

In collaboration with  social media  giant Facebook, The National September 11 Memorial & Museum is  seeking users on Facebook to post photos or messages dedicating and honoring the 3,000 men, women, and children who perished in the attacks of 9/11 with the help of the app called the  9/11 Memorial.

In    August 2006,  The National September 11 Memorial & Museum began construction on the former location of the Twin Towers which were destroyed by the terrorist group al-Qaeda in September 2001. The memorial was planned to remember the victims who lost their lives in the attacks. It is a non-profit organization, which will be opened this year on September 11, and the museum will open in 2012.

9/11 Memorial Facebook Application

The Memorial’s Mission follows a strong message –

  • Remember and honor the thousands of innocent men, women, and children murdered by terrorists in the horrific attacks of February 26, 1993 and September 11, 2001.
  • Respect this place made sacred through tragic loss.
  • Recognize the endurance of those who survived the courage of those who risked their lives to save others, and the compassion of all who supported us in our darkest hours.
  • May the lives remembered, the deeds recognized, and the spirit reawakened be eternal beacons, which reaffirm respect for life, strengthen our resolve to preserve freedom, and inspire an end to hatred, ignorance and intolerance.

The application is developed and maintained by Facebook app developer Involver, which was released on Wednesday. When a user posts a photo or sends a message, the application will randomly select and dedicate a status to any single victim out of the 3,000 victims.

The goal of the application is to honor and remember victims of this devastating attack on America, 10 years later,explains Involver‘s Senior Vice President of Marketing Jascha Kaykas-Wolff.

9/11 Memorial Facebook Application

You can make donations and help the organization raise funds. All donations and  sponsorships  that the organization receives are dedicated to developing and sustaining the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.

Click here to make a donation and show your support. You can also text HOPE to 80088 to support the National September 11 Memorial with a $10 donation. For more information related to donations and sponsorships, visit this page

Similarly, YouTube  in collaboration with The New York Times is marking the tenth anniversary of the September 11 attack by launching a dedicated YouTube Channel called Reflections on 9/11, featuring special videos and content from the New York Times, archived news broadcasts from September 2001, and personal stories of those people whose lives were deeply affected by the attacks.

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Facebook Revenue Doubled to $1.6B with a Net Income of $500M in First Half of 2011

According to a source that is claiming to possess knowledge on Facebook’s financial, whose name Reuters did not reveal, stated that Facebook has impressively doubled its revenue to $1.6 billion in the first half of 2011, with a net income of almost $500 million.

In 2008, sources indicated that Facebook  had nearly made $280 million to $300 million in revenue, and in 2009 it likely reached between $600 and $700 million. According to the documents provided by Goldman Sachs, Facebook earned $335 million in net income in the first nine months on revenue of $1.2 million in the year 2010.

However, the revenue growth chart as per Wikipedia is slightly higher than what was predicted –

Facebook revenue Growth as per Wikipedia

Facebook’s most important and primary revenue channel is advertising. Microsoft    is Facebook’s exclusive partner for banner advertising. Thus, it serves only those ads that exist in Microsoft’s advertisement inventory. However, the revenue boost could be due to the massive daily deals done by sites like  Groupon  and  LivingSocial.

Facebook also generates a huge amount of revenue from its Facebook Credits program. Facebook Credits  are a virtual currency with which you can buy virtual goods in all games on the Facebook platform. You can purchase Facebook Credits  using your credit card, PayPal, a mobile phone or other alternate payment method. We expect that Facebook nearly generates around $300 million to $500 million in revenue from their Credits  platform.

With more than 750 million users and counting, Facebook has become one of the most visited websites, and is the first ever website to cross 1 trillion page views per month. There’s no doubt that it has pressurized web companies like Yahoo, which is currently going through a rough time, and had to oust its CEO Carol Bartz on Tuesday.

On the other hand, Google’s social networking site Google+ (Facebook’s competitor), is growing rapidly, attracting over more than 20 million users in the first few weeks after its launch. To make the competition tougher with Facebook, Google+ started to offer games such as Zynga Poker and Angry Birds.

End of Carol Bartz as CEO; The Downfall of Yahoo Under Her Reign

Carol Bartz was removed from the Chief Executive post by the Yahoo Board of Directors after 2 years of holding it. They have now appointed Timothy Morse for the post until a permanent CEO is appointed.

The news was confirmed after a leaked internal email which Carol sent to all Yahoo employees, stating that she had been ousted –

To all,

I am very sad to tell you that I’ve just been fired over the phone by Yahoo’s Chairman of the Board. It has been my pleasure to work with all of you and I wish you only the best going forward.

Carol

Goodbye carol Bartz

However, Yahoo confirmed the exit of Bartz in a press release yesterday.

“On behalf of the entire board, I want to thank Carol for her service to Yahoo during a critical time of transition in the company’s history, and against a very challenging macro-economic backdrop,” said Roy Bostock, chairman of Yahoo’s board.

The reason why Yahoo had to sack Carol Bartz was perhaps she lacked experience in advertising and Web 2.0, and wasn’t’ really a “revenue driver”. Now that Tim Morse has been appointed as the CEO (for the time being), analysts say that he would turn out to be “much worse” than Bartz. Both lack the ability to think big and out of the box.

Bartz succeeded Yahoo’s co-founder Jerry Yang as CEO on January 13, 2009, and as a part of the turnaround strategy, amid the tough competition with Google and Facebook, she arbitrarily sacked over a hundred employees and closed some of Yahoo’s less popular services, which could have probably given back a tough competition to its competitors, if improvised appropriately.

Her performance at Yahoo has mostly been  effortless. When she was announced as the new CEO of Yahoo in 2009, Yahoo’s stock price closed at $12.41 per share. A year after that, the stock price slightly scaled up to $16.70 (a 32% increase) which was pretty good for Yahoo. However, on the other side, Yahoo’s competitor Google, was almost +100% at the same time. Apple was up by +270%, and Microsoft by +50%. The +32% was good enough for Yahoo, but the performance under her tenure has been lagging.

Yahoo Stock September 2011

However, Yahoo’s share in 2011 dipped to 13.1%, while Facebook and Google saw a rise of 17.9 percent and 9.3 percent respectively, and more interestingly, Yahoo’s stock climbed up by 6% (or 81 cents), to $13.72 in the afterhours trading on Tuesday after the   removal of Bartz.

Also Read:  Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz tells Michael Arrington From TechCrunch to F*ck-of