Category Archives: Social Media

News, views, analysis and tips on Social Networking and Social Media. News from Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Orkut, Digg, Reddit and more.

Google Wave Gets a Final Wave Goodbye

In August of 2009, Google introduced a new collaboration service called Google Wave with some mystery and a lot of hype. Initially, there was quite a bit of interest in it, but over time, it was obvious to Google that it wasn’t going to be a popular service.  I tried Wave a few times, and even though I thought it was pretty cool, my biggest problem with it was that it was sluggish and simply didn’t offer a good replacement for simple email and social networking, as in Facebook.  A year after the introduction, Google finally announced that the Wave project was getting killed. Later, it was announced that Wave was going to end up as an open source project hosted by the Apache Foundation. Wave did have a lot of great features for collaboration, and the move to open source was welcomed by many.

Yesterday, I received an email from the Wave team which details the final funeral arrangements for Google Wave. Here’s that email in full:

Dear Wavers,

More than a year ago, we  announced  that Google Wave would no longer be developed as a separate product. At the time, we committed to maintaining the site at least through to the end of 2010. Today, we are sharing the specific dates for ending this maintenance period and shutting down Wave. As of January 31, 2012, all waves will be read-only, and the Wave service will be turned off on April 30, 2012. You will be able to continue exporting individual waves using the existing PDF export feature until the Google Wave service is turned off. We encourage you to export any important data before April 30, 2012.    

If you would like to continue using Wave, there are a number of open source projects, including  Apache Wave  There is also an open source project called  Walkaround  that includes an  experimental feature  that lets you import all your Waves from Google. This feature will also work until the Wave service is turned off on April 30, 2012.  For more details, please see our  help center.

Yours sincerely,

The Wave Team

Even though Google Wave was somewhat of a failure, and the next social media project called Google Buzz, also seemed to fizzle out, the newest Google project, Google Plus has had some success. It was designed to compete head-to-head with Facebook and MySpace and I’ve become addicted to it. Below is a video showing an introduction to Google Wave and following that is an introduction to the new Google Plus.

 

 

Google Plus video

If you want to check it out, you can join me on Google Plus and add me to one of your circles.

Facebook Hacked? Do You See Porn Content on Your Facebook News Feed?

An increasing number of users on Facebook are reporting that their news feed has been flooded with pornography and explicit content, and rumours indicate that the Anonymous hacktivist and its rumoured Fawkes virus could be responsible for this barrage of offensive images.

The spread of such content started a few days ago, and now has become viral across the social network, making its users angry and disgusted.  It’s not just the general users who have been affected by this bombardment, but celebrities like actress and director, Courtney Zito as well. She told The Christian Post, “I have 5000 friends. My feed is littered with porn. I can’t even check my news feed with anyone around because of it.”

AllFacebook notes that this isn’t the first time Facebook is being affected by such a thing. A similar exploit happened last year in August 2010, where photos were being shared across users’ wall without their knowledge.

Facebook

I haven’t noticed anything as such on my Timeline or have heard of any complaints from my friends. However, searching on Twitter for the term “facebook porn” shows a list of complaints from users who have been affected. They are also indicating that they will be temporarily deactivating their account until the issue has been resolved.

Facebook is yet to issue a statement about this exploit. Although all fingers are pointing out to Anonymous, it is still unclear on who is behind this attack. The reason why Anonymous is put at blame is because the hacktivist made threats against the social networking giant in August since it lacked privacy that users want on it. The group indicated that they would “kill” Facebook on November 5, but there wasn’t any such activity that took place that day.

Recently we posted about a scam that has been spreading on Facebook – “98 Percent of People Can’t Watch This Video for More Than 15 Seconds” attracting a lot of likesand “shares”, which is also spreading through Facebook Messages. A quick search on Google showed a list of blogs who stating that the above mentioned message is a scam and users should avoid clicking on it.

Users are also posting the following warning message on Facebook

Facebook Hacked - Warning

ATTENTION!!!

The hackers have already entered in Facebook and they are putting unwanted videos or pictures to your name in the walls or profiles of your friends without you knowing it. You dont see it,,but other people can see it. As if these were a publication that you made…so if you receive something from me about a video, ..its not mine..i wouldn’t disrespect my friends in anyway ! …copy this on your wall..it is the security of our own image..

In the meantime, if you see any content which you think you might have not shared, then I recommended you to reset your Facebook password. Chances are that your account must be hacked. Alternatively, you can go through this guide that I wrote some time back which will guide you on how you can prevent your Facebook account from getting hacked.

We have 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. Here’s an article on how you can  Identify and Avoid  Facebook scams.

Facebook to Put an End to Automated Notes – RSS/Feeds Import

The social networking giant Facebook announced in a message (posted above the timeline) that the feature which automatically allowed users to import content from their website/blog into their Facebook notes will no longer be functional from November 22 as the social networking giant is pretty much focused on creating Facebook Pages even better.

Facebook to Kill Automated Notes

Facebook had already disabled this feature for Pages on 30th September –

We want you to connect with your fans in the most effective ways possible. That’s why as of September 30th you’ll no longer be able to automatically import posts from your website to your Page notes. The best way to get people to interact with your content is to give them insight into the links you share on your Wall by adding personal comments and responding to feedback from fans.

The automated notes allow users to link their blog posts and websites via RSS directly to their Facebook profiles. In other words, every time a user updates his blog, it would automatically “push” the information onto Facebook, marking it as a note.

Starting November 22nd, the feature will no longer be available. However, third-party syndication app providers, like NetworkedBlogs, Hootsuite and Tweetdeck remain as options for syndicating content automatically to Facebook.

Facebook also stated that they are “focused on creating better tools for Pages”.  Now, how does this affect Google Plus? Well, Google can expect a fight back from Facebook to their newly launched Google Plus Pages, which allows organizations and companies to create a corporate (business) page on Google+, which is very much similar to the group and business pages you see on Facebook.

Having said that, and from what Mark Zuckerberg called Google’s social networking as “Google’s little version of Facebook“, I’m quite certain that Facebook would put forth great challenges by announcing some great new features in the coming days. Additionally, November 22nd could probably mark an official start of the Facebook’s newly launched TimeLine beta.

Timestamp Your Facebook Updates – New Facebook Feature

Now travel back in time, even before the inception of Facebook. The new feature rolled out by Facebook, allows you to add a timestamp with a past date to your status updates and photos. This is mainly done to fill in those blank spaces on your Timeline as you update status messages about your events and occasions in the past.

When you are updating your status, you will notice a small clock icon at the bottom-left corner of the update box. Clicking it will first let you enter the year, followed by the month and then the date. You can also add the person who you were with, or share the location if you remember it. However, this will not allow you to schedule a post for the future.

The feature is available to only those users who have installed the Developer application. If you haven’t installed it yet, here’s a post which will help you Enable the Facebook Timeline

Here’s an update that I posted with a timestamp –

Timestamp - Facebook Update

The Timeline is basically intended to act as a visual representation of your life and the events surrounding it. With new feature rolling out slowly, Facebook is hoping its users will share more information on its platform. With Timeline, Facebook urges you to share more personal content, and make sure that the information shared is more social than it was on your old Facebook profile.

Facebook had scheduled to roll out the Timeline feature on September 22, but it was pushed back after a trademark lawsuit over the word timelinewas filed by Timelines.com.   Now, the Timeline is expected to go live on Monday, November 7, 2011.

Facebook .exe Attachment Vulnerability Found

Uploading .exe files is generally not allowed on most online services like Gmail and Facebook. However, a vulnerability found in Facebook lets you attach .exe files and send them across to your friends and other people.

The bug was first identified by Nathan Power, a senior security penetration tester at technology consultancy CDW, which he posted about the issue in a blog post.Facebook Security

Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook Messages last year in November, which enabled every user to create a @facebook.com email address. This also allowed users to upload attachments like images and document files, but did not allow users to attach .exe files. Whenever a user tried to attach an .exe file, Facebook throws the following error message – “You cannot attach files of that type”.

Nathan Power found an alternative way to attach .exe files and surprisingly it worked. When uploading the file to Facebook, he captured the web browser’s POST request, which is as follows –

Content-Disposition: form-data; name="attachment"; filename="cmd.exe"

It was identified that the variable “filename” was being parsed to determine whether the type of file is allowed to be uploaded or not. Power modified the POST request by appending a blank space after the .exe in order to subvert the security mechanism to allow an .exe file type.

The modified line looked like this –

Content-Disposition: form-data; name="attachment"; filename="cmd.exe "

That way, the Facebook messaging system allowed the user to upload a file with .exe extension, thus causing a huge vulnerability in the messaging system. This could be misused by hackers/spammers to send malicious files to any user on Facebook.

Attach .exe Files in Facebook

However, Facebook’s Security Manager Ryan McGeehan stated that in order to execute the file on the receiver’s computer it would require “an additional layer of social engineering.” He also said that webmail providers face the same problem with malicious attachments and that “this finding is a very small part of how we protect against this threat overall.”

Here’s what Ryan McGeeham had to say –

This finding will only allow one user to send an obfuscated renamed file to another Facebook user. The proof of concept, as is, would not execute on a recipients machine without an additional layer of social engineering. Beyond that, we are not going to rely solely on string matching as a protective measure, since zip files and other things could also have unpredictable behaviors when sent as an attachment.

We are AV scanning everything that comes through as a secondary measure, so we have defense in depth for this sort of vector. This puts us at a similar level of protection as most webmail providers who deal with the similar risk, and this finding is a very small part of how we protect against this threat overall. At the end of the day, it is more practical for a bad guy to hide an .exe on a convincing landing page behind a URL shortener, which is something we’ve been dealing with for a while.

That certainly is something very serious as shortened URLs pose larger threat, since users blindly click links on the social network. Users must be very careful about links on Facebook and verify them before clicking or sharing with others.

A precautionary measure that users can follow is to set their privacy setting so they can receive messages from their friends only. To do so, follow the steps mentioned below –

  • Click on Account > Privacy Settings
  • Click “Edit Settings” for “How You Connect”
  • From the pop-up box, change “Who can send you Facebook Messages” to “Friends”

A Google+ user named Sahil Singh checked for the vulnerability with Gmail and was surprised to know that it affects Gmail as well.

Facebook Adds Two New Security Features – Trusted Friends and Application Passwords

With more than 800 million users, Facebook is taking security seriously, and in an aim to help users protect their accounts, the social networking giant has announced two new security improvements – Trusted Friends and Application Passwords.

When your Facebook account is compromised, the first basic thing the hacker/hijacker does is try changing your account’s password,
Facebook Security so that you don’t regain access to the account. The conventional process of changing password is that you need to enter the old password first and then the new password. Facebook is now looking forward to change this approach.

The Trusted Friends feature lets you choose three to five friends who you really trust. Whenever you or someone else is trying to change your account password, these set of trusted friends will be contacted in order to verify that you are the legitimate account owner. Or if your Facebook account gets locked down, these friends will vouch for you and help you regain access to your account. So, better be careful while choosing your “trusted” friends.

Learn:  How to Prevent Your Facebook Account from Getting Hacked

“It’s sort of similar to giving a house key to your friends when you go on vacation–pick the friends you most trust in case you need their help in the future,” the company said in a blog post.

To set up Trusted Friends:

  1. Go to your  Security Settings  page (Account > Account Settings > Security)
  2. Click on the  Trusted Friends  section
  3. Click  Choose Trusted Friends
  4. Scroll through your friends or search for specific friends
  5. Select 5 friends and confirm your choices

Note: The feature is currently under testing stage. So, if you don’t see the “Trusted Friends” section, then you got to wait until it’s publicly  available.

Facebook Application Passwords

Facebook implemented a security feature called Login Approvals, which when enabled requires users to enter a security code texted to their phone whenever they login to Facebook or Facebook apps. However, some application like Spotify didn’t properly generate the security code entry dialog, which then denied access to the app.

Read:  Facebook Introduces Sweeping Sharing and Privacy Changes

To overcome this issue, Facebook has announced a new feature call the Application Password. This feature lets you create a unique App Password, and prompts for it whenever you’re trying to access the app. To enable this feature, go to your Facebook Account Settings > Security and click on “Edit” App Passwords. A message box opens up stating that Login Approvals won’t work for apps like Xbox, Spotify, and Skype. Now, click on “Generate App Passwords”.

Facebook Security - App Passwords

On the next screen, you are asked to enter the name of the App (Ex: Skype or iPhone). Facebook will now generate a unique alphanumeric password for the entered app name.

Facebook App Password

“There are tons of applications you can use by logging in with your Facebook credentials. However in some cases you may want to have a unique password for that application,” the blog post says. “This is especially helpful if you have opted into Login Approvals, for which security codes don’t always work when using 3rd party applications.”

The two new security features look promising, and would certainly help users keep hackers and hijackers out of their accounts. However, for an effective use, Facebook should consider running an awareness campaign or release a new version of the Official Guide to Facebook Security document.

Facebook to Build Its First Ever Data Center Outside the U.S. – In Sweden

The social networking giant, Facebook is planning to build a new multi-million ‘mini town’ data center in the northern Swedish town of Lulea – the first outside the US, in order to improve the performance of the European users. It is said to be the largest of its kind in Europe.

“Facebook has more users outside the U.S. than inside,” Facebook director of site operations Tom Furlong told The Associated Press. “It was time for us to expand in Europe.”

It is reported that the social network will build three server halls, occupying an area the size of 11 football fields. The main reason why it is being set up in Lulea is because of the low climatic conditions, which is among the coldest city in Sweden, taking advantage of it to cool thousands of servers. It is also because the city offers low-cost electricity and the high-tech science research at the Lulea Technical University.

Mats Engman, chief executive of the Aurorum Science Park stated – “The climate will allow them to just use only air for cooling the servers. If you take the statistics, the temperature has not been above 30C [86F] for more than 24 hours since 1961. If you take the average temperature, it’s around 2C [35.6F].”

Facebook Director of Operations, Tom Furlong unveils plans for the new facility in Lulea in northern Sweden.
Facebook Director of Operations, Tom Furlong unveils plans for the new facility in Lulea in northern Sweden.

The servers will be powered by renewable sources of electricity generated by dams on the Lulea Reiver. According to The Telegraph, the operation will require as much electricity as a town of 50,000 people, at a cost of roughly $72.3 million per year.

The three server buildings will have an area of 28,000 square meters (300,000 square ft) each, and construction will take place in three phases. The construction of the first server hall starts later this month and the second will be built in 2013. The entire construction of the data center is expected to complete by 2014. The site will need 120 MW of energy, fully derived from hydropower.

Facebook, however, did not reveal the investment details, but according to Associated Press it is indicated that the Lulea officials have previously projected construction costs of up to $760 million. Facebook currently has server farms in Silicon Valley; Ashburn, Virginia; and Prineville, Oregon, as well as another one under construction in Forest City, North Carolina.

Back in 2007, Microsoft was in discussions to build a similar data center in Siberia, but the deal never happened. In 2009, Google bought a deserted paper mill in Southern Finland for approximately €40 million ($51.7 million) to convert it into a data center.

Now that Google and Facebook have server farms, I wonder who is next on the list. Probably, Amazon?

Twitter Testing New Timeline Features

After Google, which redesigned most of its services, the next on the list is the micro-blogging site Twitter, which has been quietly testing some new changes to its timeline. The new timeline brings contextual information right into your stream. This allows users to see in-line tweets, expand other tweets in conversation and view embedded media.

Currently, a slider opens on the right when you click on a tweet, which shows conversation (or replies) or photos and videos. However, looks like Twitter wants to eliminate the slider, and is looking forward to load tweets and media in-line.

Patrick Bisch, founder of Pinglio.com, was the first to report about the changes when he was on the micro-blogging site earlier today. In a video, Bisch showed that when hovering over a tweet, a “Open” link appears on the top-right corner of the tweet, which can be used to expand it. The “Open” link is replaced with a “Close” link when the tweet is opened.

Twitter New Timeline Features

Whenever you click on a tweet containing a link to a photo, video or other media, the media will open up within the timeline rather than displaying it on the slider.

Apart from that, Bisch found out that his re-tweet, reply and favourite buttons were moved to the top of his tweets, which currently are at the bottom of the tweet. Also, clicking an individual’s Twitter handle will show their profile along with their latest tweets in a pop up box (in a single frame above your Timeline).

Now, looking at these features, it seems like Twitter wants to remove the slider feature, and integrate something more interactive. The features surely look good enough, however there isn’t any confirmation from Twitter yet, and it is not yet clear whether it plans to roll out the new timeline design to all of its users.

Here’s a video that shows how the new-look version of the timeline works:

Have you seen the new Timeline changes? What do you think of these changes? Let us know by adding your comments below.

Facebook Launches Jobs Portal – “Social Jobs” in Partnership with Department Of Labor

In an apt move, Facebook has partnered with the U.S. Department of Labor, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), Direct Employers Association (DE) and the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA) to help students, job seekers and employers get a suitable job by using the power of social networks.

Jobvite 2011 SurveyAccording to a study conducted by an independent survey, more than 70 percent of college career centers have a Facebook page, and a Jobvite poll created in 2010 showed that 89 percent of respondents have recruited or plan to recruit via social networks.

The main aim of this partnership is to get people back to work, and peruse a number of initiatives to effectively use social networks in the job market. According to the document uploaded on Scribd, states the partnership will include the following features –

  • Conduct in-depth survey research about the ways in which job seekers, college career centers, and workforce recruiters are  using the  social web.
  • Develop and launch a central Facebook Page that will host specialized resources and content designed to help job  seekers and employers.
  • Explore and develop systems  for delivering  job postings  virally through Facebook at no charge.
  • Promote existing employment programs and resources offered by government agencies for job hunters.
  • Distribute educational materials about leveraging the power of the social web to recruiters, government agencies, and job seekers.

The effective use of social networks is significantly growing at speedy pace and becoming increasingly prominent in job recruitment. This particular move by Facebook is in a way a challenge to LinkedIn, which now has more than 120 million members all over the world. The job portal called Social Jobsaims to grant users a variety of jobs-related information, and has a long term goal to help bring down the 9.1% unemployment rate in America. Facebook hopes to begin work immediately on connecting employees and recruiters with better online social resources.

U.S. Secretary of Labor  Hilda L. Solis said:

Linking American job seekers with the resources they need to get back to work is a top priority of the Obama Administration and my department. By leveraging the power of the social web, this initiative will provide immediate, meaningful and ready-to-use information for job seekers and employers, and a modern platform to better connect them.

[Press Release]

Twitter + Facebook + Google Plus = Chime.in; A New Social Networking Site by UberMedia

Entrepreneur and investor Bill Gross, the CEO of UberMedia, a social media company that specialized in creating social networking apps like Echofon and UberSocial/Twidroyid, has officially launched a new social networking site, which is supposedly the clone of – Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus – called Chime.in

Chime.in is basically, well yet another social networking tool, which is about connecting people with same/similar interests. The fact that the newly launched social networking site is someway similar to Twitter, and this fact is being dodged by the CEO, making it a point that the project is all about enabling people to join and build dynamic communities around topics of similar interests, which easily enables users to create and engage with relevant media content.

Chime.in -  Connect around your interests

“Social media is the future of all electronic content and transactions,” said Bill Gross, CEO of UberMedia. “It will be everywhere, just like oxygen. However, now that a billion people are using social media, it’s easy to get lost in a sea of content that’s irrelevant to you. Chime.in, by focusing on your interests, and not just people, makes it much more relevant and engaging.”

Chime.in is all set to have a direct competition with the four major social networking giants Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. Yet, the question strikes my mind do we need another social networking site? I don’t really think so.

Here are some basic features of Chime.in –

  • One can easily integrate media in every post. However, the good thing is that it does not allow you to post GIFs.
  • You have an option to either follow a specific category of a user or the user as a whole (includes all his/her categories)
  • Everything on Chime is public. There are no direct messages or PMs. This however, is a limitation which hopefully should be added when it is out of beta.
  • You can place ads on community pages and makes some bucks.

How different is Chime.in from Twitter and other social networks?

Chime has two unique and different features, which are

Chime is all about interests and topics. People stick around to topics that they are interested in, and all the discussions that take place are called as Chimes. These Chimesare automatically organized by Chime which will appear on your something called as Chimeline(a timeline).

The next feature is that you can post ads to the communities you create. For instance, you can pin Google AdSense advertisements to the communities that you create and make some money out it while you keep people engaged with topics. Alternatively, you have an option to let Chime.in populate it with advertising and give you a portion of the profits.

Chimes and Chimeline

Just like Twitter and Facebook, Chime also provides you with vanity URLs, where you append your own name or alias along with the domain.

Chime.in Profile

Updating a post on Chime is pretty simple and easy. The approach of adding a post is very much similar to Google Plus. You can add a link, post an image, upload/add a video, and even add a poll. However, the post box consists of two sections – Headline, which is optional and the “Chime”. The Headline is limited to 65 characters while the content (Chime) is limited to 2000 characters. You can enter up to 5 categories which you post could be related to.

Post Updates on Chime.in

You can as well connect your Chime account with Twitter and Facebook accounts. Just click on the “connect” buttons to authorize your accounts with Chime –

Connect with Twitter and Facebook

Like Twitter, you can add/change the background image for your profile.

Chime.in - Background Images

Verified Accounts

Chime.in verifies celebrity profiles, which will avoid scammers and users to create fake celebrity accounts to attract followers. Here’s a verified account of Ashton Kutcher

Ashton Kutcher Verified Chime.in Account

Yet another similar like Twitter, you can share, like or save a Chime to your favourites and view the same by clicking on the “Saved” option on the left sidebar.

Mobile Apps

Chime.in supports iOS, Android, and Blackberry for its mobile apps and allows you to compose Chimes, reply to Chimes, upload photos, browse your Chimeline and view profiles.

Click here to download the official Chime.in mobile apps

Chimes.in Mobile Apps

According the site, Chime is a place to learn and share with others who have the same interests. Where one day, your every interest, no matter how big or small, serious or silly, will have its own vibrant community of people who are just as passionate about it as you are.

Small Business Grant Scam Floating Around Facebook

Beware of a new scam making its way around Facebook masquerading as a service that helps people find FREE government grants. In the picture below, you will see what appeared on my Facebook feed. It plays on several themes. One, is people’s dismay with the government as it states, “finally the Gov is helping their people!” Second, the poor economy is a great motivator for people to fall for these kind of schemes.

Facebook Scam

Right away you should notice that there are some things wrong with this picture. What legitimate business says “Gov” instead of government? The other thing to note is the web address it points to, “just9u.com”. That is a very random domain name. Usually that is a sure sign that this is not a legitimate offer.

If you are one of the unlucky ones who click this link, you will be taken to a website outside of Facebook. In the picture below, you can see a copy of what this website looks like. As you can see, it appears to be a news report. It attempts to build credibility by adding logos of several recognizable news agencies. Beware of these type of schemes. Take a look at the two areas highlighted in red below. First, notice the name of the website. It says “dailynetnewstoday.com”. Strange, didn’t the link above say “just9u.com”? Also whenever you mouse over any link the bottom of the webpage shows the link “dailynetnews.com/agrant/grants.php”. It seems odd that putting your mouse over CNN’s logo would show that link don’t you think? Go with your gut on this. IT IS A SCAM!

Grant Site

If you click anywhere on the page picture above, you will be taken to another website where you can fill out a form. The website is “grantassist.com”. For a fee, they claim they can help you get all the government grants that you are entitled to. In reality, they are out to take you money and charge your credit card fraudulently. I did a little homework on these guys. They are a company based in Nevada.  I found they had an “F” rating on the Better Business Bureau’s website. These people had 131 complaints against them.

F Rated on BBBThese type of businesses skirt the law and fly under the radar to do their dirty schemes. You have to be careful and look for the signs of scams. Do they use well known logos that don’t link to the actual logo’s site, such as CNN? Do the URL’s have strange names that don’t make much sense? Does the site ask you for money or prevent you from clicking the close button? These are all signs of scams. Don’t fall for this stuff and don’t help it spread. If you see this type of post on Facebook, please warn your friends not to click it. I hope this article will help prevent some future mistakes.

 

Facebook Quietly Rolls out the “Translate” Button

After Google integrated the “translate” feature into its social network, which allows users to translate posts and comments into 50 different languages, Facebook, as usual has followed the footprints of Google+, and quietly announced the launch of “translate” button – powered by Microsoft’s Bing.

Facebook Translate - Powered by Bing

The new in-line translation feature allows users to quickly translate content or comments on pages using Bing Translate. Prior to the launch of this feature, most users on Facebook relied on third-party services like Google Translate to help them understand and communicate with users who speak other launches. The translate feature on Facebook will now eliminate the pain to go to Google Translate, and users will be able to translate a comment or page by simply clicking the translate button, which is placed next to the ever-popular “Like” button.

When a user translates comments by clicking the “Translate” button, an “Original” button appears in place of the Translate button, which allows users to switch back to the original language.

Facebook Translate

However, it is still unclear as to how many languages the translator supports. So far, it is known that it supports English, Spanish, French, Hebrew and Chinese language. And the button only appears for users with their language set to English, Korean, Japanese, Russian, Taiwanese and Chinese-Hong Kong.

How to Activate Translate on Facebook

1. Click on Account on the top right hand side of your page and  select    Use Facebook  as a Page.

2. Click on Edit Page on the top right hand side of your page.

3. Click on Your Settings on the left side of the page.  You’ll have four choices to pick from:

  • Admin, community, and machine translators
  • Community and machine translators (default)
  • Machine translators
  • None
Activate Facebook Translate

However, at times the translator displays an error message – “There is no translation available for this story at the moment, whenever a language is not supported. As Facebook mentioned, users will have the opportunity to add their own translation for a post or comment by opting-in to using in-line translation. Once the user has provided the translation and if the translation receives enough positive votes from other users, then the translator will replace it with the Bing translation and the same will appear each time someone clicks the Translatebutton for that specific post.

Facebook Adds Security Feature to Identify Malware URLs

Facebook has updated its security feature that will prevent users from clicking malware and phishing links. The feature will display a warning message whenever a user clicks on links that may lead to potentially dangerous sites.
Facebook Security

The security feature is provided with the help of a security firm WebSense, which will identify these malicious and dangerous links. WebSense posted on their blog stating that Facebook is a target of scammers since the social network has over 800 million users who could be targeted as potential victims.

We have seen several scams and hoax messages spreading on the social network. These messages sometimes contain malware or phishing links, which will trick users in entering confidential details like passwords, credit card number, bank details and so on.

In order to avoid the threats posed to users, Facebook has partnered with WebSense to ensure that users don’t click on links that lead to malware and malicious websites.

A platform as popular as Facebook is naturally a target for attackers. We have been working with Facebook and their security teams for a number of years in order to keep their users safe, but now we have integrated directly into the platform for an unprecedented security combination,WebSense stated on the company blog.

How it works?

Whenever a Facebook user clicks on a link that leads to an external website, the link will automatically be sent and analyzed by WebSense. This process of analyzing is done in real time, and if the results returned by WebSense indicates that the website is unsafe to visit, then the user is presented with a warning message. However, users can continue loading the website on their own risk, or return to the previous session or get more information on why the link was flagged malicious.

Facebook WebSense Security Feature

The security feature might slightly reduce on the number of users who blindly click on links and answer surveys, but will not completely eradicate it. Scammers on the other hand will definitely find a solution to bypass this security feature and continue posting messages on the social network.

Here’s a video presentation by Dan Hubbard, CTO of WebSense announcing and explaining how the security feature protects users on Facebook –

WebSense also conducted an interesting  study, which explains how scam messages spread and how they work. The study was conducted by choosing two scams which are still very much actively spreading on Facebook. From the assumption made, it was calculated that these scams approximately get over 2,592,000 hits per day.

Facebook did take some precautionary measures to help prevent users from clicking on scam messages. They had officially launched a document called Guide To Facebook Securitywhich will help its users understand the social network’s security features and possible ways to protect  their  account from threats like malware and phishing attacks. It also includes tips on how users can avoid  click-jacking  and like-jacking scam messages and scam apps.

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