Flock Browser – Official End of Support

flock-icon-250x250The original Kingof social browsers is as good as dead. The Flock web browser will dieon April 26th. Back in January, we told you that Zynga Acquires Flock; May Take Social Gaming To A New Level. As you probably know, Zynga is the social gaming power-house behind Farmville, Mafia Wars and a dozen other popular social games.

What wasn’t expected by many Flock users, was that they’d be abandoned so quickly, without anything to take Flock’s place. I just received my End of Supportletter today. Apparently they made the announcement on April 13th.

Flock said the following it their FAQ:

Flock will no longer be actively maintained, which means you can keep using the product, but key features will stop working after 4/26/11 and over time the browser will no longer be secure as software updates and upgrades will no longer be provided.

Here was one of the immediate responses from the Flock faithful.

David S: This sucks big time! Zynga’s decision to shut down this fabulous browser is an outrage and should be condemned. I have officially boycotted all other Zynga products and encourage others to do so as well. … I curse the day they purchased the property …

Since Zynga has decided to kill the Flock browser, what do they recommend that their users do now? Here’s what they said:

There are many browser choices. We recommend either Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

I think most people expected that Zynga/Flock would work on a new browser that is designed to work with social gaming. All bets are off now, but if you still want to use a good social web browser, I’d recommend Rockmelt, which gives you built-in access to Facebook and Twitter.

Warning: Young Teen From Egypt Commits SUICIDE Scam Spreading on Facebook

A new scam is rapidly spreading on , this time it is spreading through tagged photos in Facebook albums. The scam basically makes use of Facebook Connect to gain access to a users account and then posts enticing photos to their album and randomly tags friends along.

Egypt Suicide Facebook Scam

The scam is spreading with the text "INSANE: young teen from Egypt commits SUICIDE in front of web cam – Watch video here [link redacted]". Once users click on the link they are redirected to sign into Facebook with "gokasol" which is a Facebook application.

Facebook Permissions Scam

It then asks for permission to a users basic information, posting to their wall and their photos and videos. Once you give the app permissions, it will take you to another website where you will be asked to verify your age to watch the video. In order to do so, you will have to fill up a survey. This eventually makes money for the scamster.

In addition to that, the rogue app will now upload images to your album and then tag your friends with the above message. In the end your friends and their friends will see the wall update and click on the link. The cycle will continue till a lot of users are scammed by the app.

Since the scam spreads through an app, you will have to cleanse your Facebook account and remove the app from it. 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.

Twitter may Buy TweetDeck for $50 Million

Back in February, there were some rumors that UberMedia might acquire TweetDeck, the popular client for desktop, , Android and .

TweetDeck Logo

It looks like that acquisition bid failed and put up on the market again. However, they might not stay there for longer though as WSJ is reporting that Twitter is in advanced talks to purchase TweetDeck for around $50 million.

In the recent past, TweetDeck had purchased Tweetie for iPhone to expand their presence on the iPhone and have also released apps for , , and Windows Phone 7.

The acquisition of TweetDeck might give Twitter an advantage in the Windows segment as it is the only platform that they don’t have a dedicated app for. Twitter creates and distributes it’s own Mac app.

Twitter has been receiving a lot of flak recently for it’s recent changes in their API ToS, where it basically asked new developers to stop developing apps for Twitter. This acquisition move might be a part of their recent change in mentality. Acquiring TweetDeck would give them a huge chunk of Windows users which TweetDeck has. It would also make them the largest app for Windows, effectively giving them an advantage over other Windows based Twitter client.

It will be interesting to see how this develops and whether it affects other Twitter app developers or not. Another important thing is that TweetDeck is also working on a web interface which will rival Twitter’s own web interface. So, will Twitter kill it once they acquire TweetDeck? Only time will tell.

If you are a developer take this news with a pinch of salt, after all building a business around Twitter was probably not the wisest decision. I have learnt this the hard way and chronicled my experience in the post; Building A Business Around Someone Else’s Could Mean Disaster, do read it.

About TweetDeck

TweetDeck is a multi-purpose client which allows users to track their Twitter timeline, replies and direct messages along with providing a powerful interface to track brands and websites, and also follow Twitter trends and searches. Along with Twitter, TweetDeck also supports pulling feeds from other popular services such as , MySpace and LinkedIn.

In recent months, TweetDeck has launched a which allowed users to access TweetDeck from within Google Chrome and also a new web interface for TweetDeck aimed at users of modern browsers.

Facebook Spam Now Spreading Through Facebook Events

For the past year or so I have seen so many Facebook scams  spreading through wall updates, direct messages and even Facebook email. However, for the past few days, I have been seeing these scams spreading through events too.

Just yesterday, I saw one of my friends post an invite on Facebook, and out of my curiosity I asked him whether he was scammed or was really attending the event. Turns out that one of his friends send him an invite and he accepted it.

Facebook Events Scam

Today, I got a similar scam invite in my notifications to attend an event called "How to really view who stalked your profile". Though the event might look legitimate since it came through your friend, it is not. A cursory look at the event details shows that the link to the event acceptance is not only dicey, but it is also suspect.

The event was also sent to 464 people as you can see, and a cursory look at the person who sent me the invite shows that he has only 464 friends. So this is basically a infection on Facebook which sends out invites to a users friend list without them knowing.

As always don’t click on links or event invites unless you make sure that it is legitimate. Facebook is a huge platform with around 600 million users so it is ripe for scammers and hackers to exploit the platform to gain access to your account and then infect your friends too.

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.

TweetDeck Launches Web Based Beta Client

is one of my favorite desktop clients for accessing and feeds among other social networking platforms. They also have clients for the , , and . However, the one that impressed me the most was their for .

TweetDeck Web

The TweetDeck Chrome App brought all the goodies from the desktop app to the browser. Today, TweetDeck has announced that they will now be allowing users to access TweetDeck on any web browser using a web app.

As we said at the time, Chrome TweetDeck marks the start of a new era for TweetDeck, with all efforts now focused on building our next-generation products as HTML5 and mobile apps. Since then we have been working hard, not only on improving the existing ChromeDeck experience, but also on bringing the same TweetDeck app to other web platforms.

TweetDeck Web will be available in a limited web beta for users which will be available as a standalone web site and does not require any downloads. However, TweetDeck Web beta will be subject to hourly limits because it will not be using the streaming API from Twitter.

TweetDeck Web will initially be opened up as private beta and users can sign up to get early access at http://www.tweetdeck.com/webbeta. The initial focus group would be users of browsers such as Google Chrome, 3.6, and Safari, with support for and Internet Explorer 9 being added soon

Though TweetDeck is taking a great step forward by taking their platform online, they are not the first one’s to provide a web-based format and several other services like Seesmic, Dabr and HootSuite already provide web based Twitter clients.

However, TweetDeck chrome already notched up an impressive 400,000 users in a short spam of time. It would be interesting to see how much dent they make into the market share of other services by launching the web interface for different browsers.

Extragram Brings A Great Web Interface to Instagram

Instagram, the current darling of the social media conscious photo sharing crowd has had a great run with their iPhone app, with over a million people using their service. If there’s one thing missing with Instagram, however is a decent web interface to it. Even with you logged into Instagram, there’s no way to go through your posted images.

Recently, Instagram had opened their API with hopes that third-party developers would make use of their API. Enter Extragram. Extragram aims to be the web front-end of Instagram, leveraging the Instagram API.

Extragram Homepage

Using Extragram doesn’t require you to have a separate account, clicking on sign in takes you to sign in to your Instagram account. Heck, even if you don’t have an Instagram account, you can take a sneak peek of Extragram. Once logged in, you can browse through the images using the standard grid view, or  using the excellent filmstrip view.

Extragram popular images view

Extragram Popular Images Filmstrip view

The default view is the popular images view, though you can also choose to browse through your friends’ pictures – or go on an ego trip and reminisce on your images.


The map view is nice touch – allowing you to search by area/city and then browse through some of the most popular images in the area.

Extragram Mapview

The great thing about Extragram is – you aren’t restricted to just browsing the images. Found a great image? Add it to your favorites or share it on twitter/facebook amongst other services. Discovered a particularly creative photographer? Follow the person!

Comment from Extragram

With a slick UI, some great design and intuitive navigation, Extragram fills in the void of a decent webclient that was sorely missing in Instagram. If you’re an Instagram user, Extragram will definitely make you spend more time going through Instagram images. Even you’re not an Instagram user, this site just might compel you to join Instagram. What’re your thoughts on Extragram? Do give it a spin and drop in a comment or two with your thoughts on it.


Twitter To Introduce Facebook-Like Branded Pages

According to Shearman of Marketing Magazine, Twitter is currently developing “Branded Pages”, which will be similar to Facebook Pages for brands. Details are scarce at the moment; however, these customizable pages will give brands more freedom to showcase content, and communicate with users.


It will be interesting to see how far Twitter is willing to go with branded pages. There’s a lot it can potentially do, including allowing brands to integrate rich media content, run promotions, and track performance through analytics. However, it will also have to do a careful balancing to ensure that user experience is not unfavorably affected.

“It seems interesting and a natural progression, but I’m interested in the features”, Nick Gonzales, VP of Operations at Nervora Digital Media Group in the UAE told ReadWriteWeb. Numerous brands, including the likes of Dell and Starbucks are already successfully leveraging Twitter to drive sales. If and when branded pages is launched, there should be quite a few takers for it.

Twitter is no longer the billion dollar product without an actual business model. Over the past couple of years it has managed to monetize itself through a series of promoted products (promoted trends, promoted tweets, promoted account etc.) and firehose access deals with search engines. However, there is obviously a lot more room for monetization. The biggest challenge for Twitter has been to find ways to monetize its service without irking its existing user base. However, in the recent past it has succeeded in annoying both users and developers through its #dickbar and #dickmove. Nevertheless, branded pages is something that should be a lot less controversial. In fact, it done right, it should turn out to be popular with both brands and users.

24 Funny Venn Diagrams from Across the Net

Have you seen diagrams like these before? For those of you who feel asleep in Math class, they are known as Venn Diagrams.

The internet is often a funny place. It’s not surprising that a few people have taken something as boring as superset logic and made it into a new form of entertainment. Here are 24 Funny Venn Diagrams that were gleaned from the internet by someone I know.

How to Avoid Facebook LikeJacking Scams

Recently, some of my friends and family have been victims of Likejacking at Facebook. It’s a type of clickjacking in which you are tricked into Likeinga website. It’s never happened to me, but I’ve just been very lucky. After a short time studying these Likejacking scams, I can see that it’s easy to be tricked. Below are three examples and how it works.

[images from Facecrooks.com]




As you can see, these are very tempting and they look like legitimate Likesfrom your friends. If you click to open them, you are taken to a page, normally with a video on it that needs to be clicked to play.



Clicking to play it, will instantly Likethis page on your wall. You can’t see it, but there’s a hidden Likebutton under your mouse cursor, no matter where you click on the page. Isn’t that sneaky?

Usually, you’ll be directed to fill out surveys before you are allowed to see a video. The hackers get paid for getting people to fill them out.

One defense against Likejacking is to use the Firefox browser with the NoScript add-on. If you are using Opera or Chrome browsers, you might try NotScripts.

Here’s what it looks like when a hidden Likejack is detected with NoScript.


In Google’s Chrome browser, you can right click on a link in Facebook and open it in Incognitomode. That way, you won’t be logged into Facebook when you arrive at the new page.


So far, I haven’t seen that feature in other browsers, but I think it can be added via extensions or addons.

Your best defense is some common sense. You will need to be more suspicious of your friends’ posts. It’s hard to resist temptation, but it’s also good for you.

Get Back Old Facebook Comment Button – Fix Enter to Comment On Facebook

recently rolled out a new change to their user interface where they got rid of the Comment button and allowed users to comment by hitting the Enter key. However, this was a bit annoying to users who did not know about it and innocently hit enter to add a new line to their comment. When they did this, the comment was automatically posted. (Hint: use Shift + Enter to add a new line)

Facebook Comment Button

If you are someone who has been annoyed by this problem, there is a quick and easy fix to get back the old comment button on Facebook through a script.

To get the old comment button back in Facebook, head over to http://www.crypticide.com/alecm/chrome/ and click on the FixSillyFacebook.user.js to install the Greasemonkey script in and (you will need the Greasemonkey add-on). If you are using or Internet Explorer or Safari follow our earlier post on Installing Greasemonkey scripts in Opera, IE and Safari.

P.S. The above script was a modification of another script created by Daniel Wood because it lacked the ability to work on the www subdomain in Facebook.