Facebook Collaborating with Spotify to Offer Streaming Music

Forbes is reporting that Facebook is currently testing a new streaming music feature. Rumors about Facebook launching its own music service to complete with iTunes are nothing new. However, Forbes’ report suggests that Facebook won’t actually be launching its own music service. Instead, it will be tapping into Spotify, which is already a sensation in Europe.

Spotify-Facebook

The new feature will show up as a small Spotify icon on the left hand side of the Facebook news feed. Clicking on the button will download the Spotify app in the background, providing users with access to Spotify’s massive library of songs. Spotify already has a Facebook app; however, this collaboration will enable them to integrate more tightly, besides reaching millions of more users. Facebook users will also be able to play songs together with their friends. This is an interesting feature that is likely to be particularly appealing to the lovebirds.

The catch is that this service will only available in regions supported by Spotify. Spotify’s services are currently available only in select few European countries including the UK and France. US launch is in the cards, but has been taking a lot longer than anticipated.

Facebook will not be paying Spotify for its services. For its services, Spotify will get access to a Facebook’s user base, many of whom might sign up for the premium subscription. Free users are only allowed to listen to up to 10 hours of music per month.

Mark Zuckerberg Wants Kids Under 13 To Use Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder, wants kids under 13 years of age to be allowed to use social networking sites. Though there are millions of kids already using Facebook who are under 13, Zuckerberg wants to make it legal as Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)  restricts websites from collecting personal information of children under the age of 13.

Facebook For Kids

According to  Fortune, Zuckerberg said he wants younger kids to be allowed on social networking sites like Facebook. Currently, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) mandates websites that collect information about users aren’t allowed to sign on anyone under the age of 13. But Zuckerberg is determined to change this.

Zuckerberg’s philosophy is that for education, kids need to start learning at a very young age. Allowing kids onto social networking site, will help them learn new things quickly.

“Education is clearly the biggest thing that will drive how the economy improves over the long term,” Zuckerberg said.

Right or wrong, but I’m sure parents won’t like their kids using Facebook or any other social networking sites at a very young age because they might get addicted to it (You know, there are many useless games on Facebook). With a number of scams spreading on Facebook, I don’t think it’s safe for children to use it. Mark Zuckerberg should rather be concerned about on how he could prevent Facebook from scams.

Enable ‘Dislike’ Button Scam On Facebook

A new scam, “Enable Dislike Button” is  spreading on Facebook. When I logged in to Facebook today, a friend of mine posted on my wall stating, “I just enabled the new dislike button! Click ‘Enable’ to enable the feature!  Dislike Button enabled by 464,350 users”. At once, I figured out that it is a scam and  searched  on Google to confirm it. Facebook does not have a “dislike” button and might not have as well, so don’t fall for this scam.

Enable 'Dislike' Button Scam

Researchers from Sophos also spotted this scam and quoted,  There is no official dislike button provided by Facebook and there isn’t ever likely to be,.

Clicking on the link, will forward fake messages to your friends and run unwanted JavaScript on your computer.

Avoiding such scams is not an easy task on Facebook. You are always  tempted  to click on such links, but you can always follow caution. Clif had written a nice post on  How to Avoid Facebook LikeJacking Scams, it is definitely a worthwhile read to find and spot such scams.

Access Facebook On Mobile Without Internet

U2opia Mobile, a Singapore-based software applications developer has developed a new application for mobile phones that will allow users to access Facebook without paying for a data connection and works well on all handsets.

Airtel & Facebook

Mr Sumesh Menon, said,

It is like SMS and hence, the load on the network is negligible. We have built some commands through which a user can receive alerts on activity happening on his wall as well post an update.

The company has developed this application using USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) technology. USSD is a protocol used by GSM cellular telephones to communicate with the service provider’s computers. It is mainly used for sending alerts to users that give information about balance or for sending missed call alerts.

U2opia launched this application with Indian telecom major Bharti Airtel.

Airtel users can dial *325#  (*fbk# for non-qwerty phones) to access Facebook without subscribing to data plans.

Shireesh Joshi, Bharti Airtel Director – Marketing, Mobile Services, said in a statement

In the Indian market scenario, where the penetration of smart phones is relatively low and the use of Internet on mobiles is primarily limited to key cities, many users are excluded from accessing their Facebook accounts via mobile phones

Via EconomicTimes

How To Disable Facebook Lightbox Viewer

Facebook’s new lightbox photo viewer is quite irritating. It certainly saves time, but its altogether a different viewing experience and users like me who are used to the earlier version of viewing photos will definitely find the lightbox viewer irritating and useless.

Facebook Lightbox

Facebook doesn’t allow users to disable this feature and allow users to revert back to the earlier version. However, there are ways by which you can disable the lightbox viewer.

Refresh (F5)

The easiest and probably the quickest way to overcome this viewer is to refresh your page by pressing F5 (or the refresh button in the browser). Refreshing the page will allow you to view photos in the old style. This is effective until you switch to another album.

Browser Extension

Switching to another album will bring back the lightbox again. To avoid refreshing your page for every album and to permanently disable the lightbox feature, you can install the available browser extensions.

Download Google Chrome Extension

Download Firefox Extension

Alternatively, removing &type=1&theater from the address bar and pressing enter will close the lightbox. However, this method worked only in Google Chrome for me.

Disable Facebook Lightbox

I Can’t Believe You Are In This Video [Facebook Scam Warning]

A new Facebook scam is spreading across the site. This time the scam takes a more personalized approach with wall posts that contain a user’s name with a message which varies.

Facebook Scams

The scam is spreading with messages like "WTF [name] I can’t believe you’re in this video", "ROFL I cant believe you’re tagged in this video", "WTF!! [name] you should untag yourself from the video", "OMG, I can’t believe you are tagged in this video", "WTF!!!, why are you tagged in this video" and so on.

The messages in the wall post may vary and clicking on those links will lead you to spread the infection to your friends too. Please do not click on those links as it will spread the virus to your friends too.

This is definitely a new approach taken by scamsters where they are personally targeting people. In the past, they have used such scam messages to entice users to click on videos for popular celebrities like Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber and more recently the infamous Osama Bin Laden Censored Video scam.

Facebook scams play on two very important traits of the generic Facebook user:-

  1. Their vanity (since they are on a service that asks them to put up their beautiful faces on a book for everyone to see)
  2. Their primal instinct to click things that either deride, complement or supplement their vanity with curiosity.

It is the perfect formula for success. Earlier it was a video about some kid who had summoned the Old Gods to his school (or something else, but it was titled very specifically as "OMG Look What This Kid Did To His School" so I am assuming it was either this or setting it on fire and my money is on the more sinister one.) youtubevid The current scam is a link to [surprise!] a videofrom a friend on Facebook who has apparently seen a video of you on YouTube that either has you looking stupid or has you doing such a fantastic and unthinkable act that said friend cannot  believe that you are "tagged" in such a video.

It is very silly since one cannot be tagged in a YouTube video, and sillier because- no, it cannot possibly get sillier than that. If a user clicks on this link it [probably, since I have no tested this] asks them for access of their entire profile, including friends list and what not. Then the script launches into the entire friend list and links this "video" on each friend’s wall.

The cleverest part of this scam is that it includes the first name of the to-be-victim in the most generic way. Very sneaky. Also incredibly annoying.

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

(Additional Reporting  by Kaushik Narasimhan)

OMG Look What This Kid Did To His School Facebook Scam Spreading

A new Facebook scam is rapidly spreading on the social networking site with the message “OMG.. Look What THIS Kid Did to His School After Being Expelled! WARNING: Graphic Content!”

omg_kid_expelled_facebook_scam

The new scam uses a similar tactic used earlier by scammers on where they add a update with a video enticing the user to click through to watch it (For eg, Justin Bieber video scam, Miley Cyrus video scam). Once a user has clicked on the link, they will infect the account and post a message on the user’s wall while asking them to complete surveys to watch the video.

Completing the survey makes the scammers some money, however, in the end you won’t be able to watch any video at all. It is always wise to stay away from such enticing updates as more likely than not, it is a scam.

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

Facebook Launches Smear Campaign Against Google; Gets Caught in the Act

If there is one company in recent times that comes to mind when user privacy issues are concerned, it’s Facebook. It hasn’t had a very credible past as far as user data is concerned. It has been in the news for the wrong reasons many times, be it because of Beacon, its targeted advertising system or because of the allegations by Julian Assange that Facebook is a spy machine for U.S. intelligence agencies.

Compared to Facebook, Google’s track record has been better when it comes to privacy. However, Google’s social attempts haven’t been able to limit the rise of Facebook. Facebook has been hiring away top talent at Google with ease, and has also refused to make its data available to Google for its search results. Google has tried to beat Facebook several times, but has failed consistently, its last attempt being the Google +1 button.

Which is why it’s surprising that Facebook would try to launch a smear campaign against Google. They absolutely didn’t need to, but they did and failed at it. This is what happened, according to a report in the Daily Beast:

“For the past few days, a mystery has been unfolding in Silicon Valley. Somebody, it seems, hired Burson-Marsteller, a top public-relations firm, to pitch anti-Google stories to newspapers, urging them to investigate claims that Google was invading people’s privacy. Burson even offered to help an influential blogger write a Google-bashing op-ed, which it promised it could place in outlets like The Washington Post, Politico, and The Huffington Post.

The plot backfired when the blogger turned down Burson’s offer and posted the emails that Burson had sent him. It got worse when USA Today broke a story accusing Burson of spreading a whisper campaignabout Google on behalf of an unnamed client.

But who was the mysterious unnamed client? While fingers pointed at Apple and Microsoft, The Daily Beast discovered that it’s a company nobody suspected—Facebook.”

Soon after this report ran, a Facebook spokesperson confirmed that they had indeed hired Burson-Marsteller. Google recently launched Social Circle, a tool which lets people see information about their friends, as well as their friends’ friends, or their secondary connections. Some of the data in Social Circle is content scraped from the user’s Facebook profile. Apparently, this is what angered Facebook so much that it was willing to go up against Google with such a bold move.

The truth is, Facebook has been perceived as the next Google, while Google has been called the next Microsoft. Google has hardly been able to compete with Facebook in social networking and it’s highly improbable that that’s going to change anytime soon. But this move by Facebook shows that 1. They are scared of Google and 2. They are willing to do whatever it takes to keep Google away from their walled garden.

Google may be wrong in trying to scrape data from Facebook profiles, but Facebook indulging in such tactics is much wronger, and just goes on to show that Facebook is getting increasingly scared of Google, now that Google, under the new leadership of Larry Page, has set its crosshairs on Facebook, focusing on improving its own social offerings.

Apple is Now the Most Valuable Brand in the World

With the success of the iPhone and the iPad, Apple’s sales, profits, market capitalization are all growing at an explosive rate. Apple surpassed Microsoft in terms of market capitalization almost an year back to become the 2nd most valuable company in the world. In the last quarter, it also overtook Microsoft in terms of profits. It is now sitting on almost $65 billion in cash, and has a market cap of almost $320 billion.

Today, it has scored yet another victory – it has become the most valuable brand in the world. According to a study by WPP BrandZ, Apple brand value has increased by 84% over the past year, making it the most valuable brand at $153 billion. It has overtaken Google which is now at the second position with a brand value of $111 billion.

A notable entrant in the top 100 list is Facebook which is at number 35 with a brand value of $19.1 billion, with a 246% increase over last year. IBM and Microsoft came in at the third and fifth positions with brand values of $100 billion and $78 billion respectively.

Apple

HTC ChaCha and HTC Salsa Available for Pre-Order on Amazon

The HTC ChaCha and the HTC Salsa, the ‘Facebook’ phones by HTC which were unveiled at MWC 2011, are now available for pre-order on Amazon UK. Both the phones were supposed to be launched in Q2 2011. According to the listing on Amazon, they will be launched on June 26, 2011.

Both the HTC ChaCha and the HTC Salsa will come with Android 2.4 Gingerbread.

HTC ChaCha

The HTC ChaCha is a QWERTY smartphone with a 2.6 inch, 480 x 320 pixel touchscreen display. It comes with a 600 MHz processor and 512 MB RAM. It also has a 5 MP camera with AF and LED flash. It is priced at £249.99.

Pre-Order HTC ChaCha on Amazon

HTC Chacha

HTC Salsa

The HTC Salsa is a standard touchscreen phone with a 3.4 inch, 320 x 480 pixel display. It also has a 600 MHz processor and 512 MB RAM, just like the ChaCha. It comes with a 5 MP camera too, with AF and LED flash. It is priced at £319.99.

Pre-Order HTC Salsa on Amazon

HTC Salsa

Both the phones come with the basics – Bluetooth 3.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, GPS with A-GPS and HSDPA connectivity.