Facebook 1st January Birthday Bug Celebrates Non-Existent Birthdays on New Years

Happy New Year. A birthday is a special occasion, and to be frank I use as my birthday calendar so that I don’t forget my friends birthdays. However, it looks like a bug in Facebook might have gotten people to wish several of their friends Happy Birthday (wrongly) on New Year’s day.

wrong_birthdays_facebook

Oh wait, wasn’t my friends birthday on January 1st? Not for all, here is what the problem is. By default, all profiles have a birthday on 1st January and many people do not change it. Now, when you logged into Facebook on 1st of January, you might have seen birthdays for tons of friends, this is not their actual birthday but a bug in Facebook, since Facebook auto-fed this information into their profiles.

People who didn’t update their profile information will automatically have their birthdays on 1st January. This is true for at-least 9 out of the 10 friends whose birthdays Facebook promoted to me. I personally know all of them and they don’t celebrate their birthday on the 1st of January.

Why is this a bug? Because Facebook is not using user inputted data and is instead storing information by default for each and every profile. So, if a user does not update their profile and change their birth date, their birthday will be termed as 1st of January.

This bug is widespread since I saw a lot of friends on my timeline complain about it, and I believe that Facebook might have marked wrong birthday days for anywhere between 50-100 million people on 1st January.

I am pretty sure that many of your friends might have been upset with the fact that you don’t remember their actual birthdates. You can safely blame it on Facebook Smile. Hopefully, next year you’ll see far more lesser friends celebrating their birthday on New Years.

(Image Credit)

Best Social Web Browser For Twitter And Facebook

I use and a lot. In fact I spend more time than I would want to on those sites. Though I use for browsing Facebook and Twitter feeds, I feel a little bit of disconnect when the links I click open in a new browser window.

Layers Social Experience

I guess someone out there heard me, because I came across a really good for called Layers, which provides users with a connected Social web browsing experience. It is like the media integration Twitter has, but for everything and done in a better way.

Layers Social Web Browser

In a nutshell, Layers is a social web browser. It allows you to browse through your Facebook and Twitter feeds and allows you to preview links, videos and pictures without disconnecting you from the experience. In addition to that, it also allows you to like, comment and share content on Facebook and Retweet or reply to Twitter users from within their interface.

What Does Layers Do?

The Layers app for Google Chrome transforms the experience of surfing through the social web into an elegant, visual flow, providing users a beautiful way to get updates, view videos and share content.

  • Let it flow: See sites in a beautiful, flowing stream
  • Stop clicking.  Preview, and watch videos, maps and images in a single place
  • Connect. Watch what your friends are doing, saying and sharing on one channel
  • Discover. Find stuff you’ll love and related to stuff you already like
  • Stay up to date. Follow your favorite sites and blogs
  • Keep it simple. Get the most out of your social networks using only the options you need

As you can see, Layers tries to make the social experience better by providing you with a neat platform that rocks. In addition to adding Facebook and Twitter feeds you can also add RSS channels to layers and browse them within Layers. They are also planning to add support for so that you can read your feeds within Layers.

I have been using layers for less than a day now and totally love the experience. It is definitely one of the best I have seen and makes my social experience complete.

This is a highly recommended extension for anyone who has a Twitter or Facebook account and want to browse their feeds elegantly. Download Layers for Google Chrome.

Why Twitter Does Not Need Media Integration

I read a very interesting post written by Zee on The Next Web about Twitter adding media services. I found the entire article pretty interesting, however, I did not entirely agree with his statements there.

Of course, I wanted to write my thoughts as a comment on his post, but I really don’t comment on sites which require users to create an account for their websites. I feel it’s a good thing to exercise my thoughts out without having to go through the pains of getting it through.

So here are my thoughts (in more words) on why does not really require any media integration.

Twitter is not Facebook

Twitter is not , it is Twitter. The difference between Facebook and Twitter is simplicity. Facebook is so complicated, it requires users to get through the loops of learning how to upload pictures, upload videos and more. Twitter on the other hand was about “What are you doing” and now about “What’s happening?”

The reason Twitter exists even when Facebook is doing so well is because they are simple. A simple update like “I just woke up” and “Goodnight” does the job, you don’t have to worry about who is reading your updates, whether someone will feel bad or not and so on.

As per Zee’s recommendation, Twitter should also provide an option to upload pictures. Well, if you have to teach a user to upload pictures to the internet before they have used Twitter, that user is a noob, complete noob. I have seen 10-11 year old kids uploading photos, so this shouldn’t be as difficult as it sounds and it should definitely not be a feature in Twitter.

Photo and Video Sharing Services Have Twitter Integration

I clicked a photo and uploaded it to , or I recorded a video and uploaded it to . Now how do I get it to Twitter? Well there is a simple button out there to do the job, so it is not hard. Twitter is not about uploading, it is about sharing and almost each and service out there has Twitter and Facebook sharing option available.

So uploading videos, photos or what not does not require Twitter, because everything around it does it. I believe that almost every site I do anything on wants me to share it on Twitter (and Facebook), so it is about integration, not implementation.

Twitter IS KISS

The reason there are so many apps for Twitter is because it leaves the nitty-gritties out while keeping in the “Simple”. Twitter has lists, but apps like and Seesmic make them ever so important.

For the record, I hardly use the web interface on Twitter, because there are so many apps out there which do the job Twitter should have done. The Twitter web interface is so simple, that I am really lost around it. I can’t function without the apps I use to use Twitter.

Of course Twitter is aware of these apps, however, they know that they have to be simple enough to KISS. If they try too much, they will obviously be something what Facebook has already been doing for so long.

Apps like TwitPic and YFrog supplement Twitter. They allow users to share content without having to put a heck of an headache on Twitter and users who don’t want Twitter can use something else. Heck, I see imgur.com being used more than anything else on Twitter for images.

Twitter Can’t Kill The EcoSystem

URL Shorteners only came into existence because of Twitter, but they have almost become a primary way of sharing URLs on the internet. When Twitter decided to start using Bit.ly as their default , there was a big hue and cry. Heck, a company even folded up and resurrected because of this decision.

Now, Twitter dropped Bit.ly and went with their own URL shortener T.co, but without hampering with the ecosystem that existed around it. Imagine when Twitter comes up with their own image sharing service, what would happen to the others? They would revolt and stop doing business? Would they just shut shop because Twitter has the control over things? Would they develop new apps around Twitter?

I highly doubt that, because Twitter knows their importance. I share almost 20-30 pictures a week, and I hardly visit TwitPic to upload my pictures. It is all done through TweetDeck, so I am not even visiting either Twitter or TwitPic to upload pictures, but I get my message through. This is because of the ecosystem Twitter has, they will survive because of this, not without it.

Twitter spends a heck of a time keeping their service up, these value-added services will only add to their headaches. Right now they have the ecosystem worrying for that, I doubt that they will change their ways here.

Twitter Is About Real-Time Not My Marriage

The reason we see real-time topics on Twitter and sites like Google and Bing using their data to supplement results is because it is real-time. Bing uses Facebook data to show you recommendations based on your friends updates, so do many other sites. But when it comes to serious topics, Twitter results are often up there and do matter. Your cute cat picture or video would not make it to real-time search because that is what Twitter is, a steady stream of updates which is built up based on user input, not a meme on your cat.

Many of the trends on Twitter are demented, but none of them came from a video share. Of course, the New York plane crash (trend came through because of a picture shared by someone near the scene. Captain Sully anyone?), but the person who uploaded the picture used TwitPic or something, not Twitter, but got through with the message.

The main reason that message came through was the picture he uploaded, but it came through Twitter, not through the picture. If that person would have put his status somewhere else, that topic would not have got as much attention as it got.

Simple enough, you got a picture, upload it, post it to Twitter, if it is viral, it gets through. If not, it doesn’t. That is the power of Twitter, getting through the message not the media accompanying it. Heck, YouTube has videos which go viral without Twitter.

Twitter Is About Adapting, Lay People Or Celebs

Some of the top Twitter accounts, and several more are about followers not following. These people have millions of followers. Some of them are Hollywood and Bollywood actors who I am very sure never knew about uploading pictures, leave aside URLs. However, I see several of these users uploading pictures on TwitPic and YFrog and getting thousands of comments.

These people did need a lesson in uploading but they learnt it nevertheless. If a normal user is dumb, these guys are dumber because they rely on someone else do all their job, but the same people are aware of clicking a photo and uploading it to whichever service they want to.

They don’t need Twitter to fulfill their media needs?

Summarizing

Of course, we would want all social networks to upload pictures et al, but is it worth it? Well, I put my thoughts out here. It definitely does not make sense for Twitter to add media integration. Of course they do have media integration for third parties, but that does not mean that they should add all these services.

I loved Zee’s article, but I have been using Twitter since May 2007, way before many of you have used it. I use it because it is simple and easy to use, from wherever I want to. I would prefer to keep it that way. I would certainly not mind not having few people not using it because it is not Facebook, after all they have 220 million users.

(This article is incomplete, links and references will be up shortly)

SocialVents Is a Smart Visual Search Engine For Events

There are a number of sites like CraigsList that tell you whats going on in your city, but the all-text cluttered interface makes them a less than ideal tool. SocialVents changes that by providing you with a visual search engine focused solely around events. Start by  entering  your desired location and date. Click search and SocialVents would display your location on Google maps along with all the vents that are scheduled for that particular date.

Each event is displayed on the map as a bubble pointing to the exact location of its venue on the map. Moreover, clicking on any event shows you more details on the left side-bar including complete address, date and time of the event, any admission charge, notes and a link to the actual source of information. You can also restrict your search results by specifying a category such as music, food, fashion. You can also move around on the map to discover more vents near by or even zoom out to capture events for a larger area.

Even though the site is still in beta, it has a good potential to attract users because of its clean functionality and usefulness. However, there are some features that I think, if added, would make this site even better such as the ability to share events with friends, the option to embed results/map on a website and most  importantly  displaying some sort of result count.

Twitter’s Christmas Gift – Fail Whale

It’s Christmas and I guess many of the folks who work at might have had the day off. Alas it was a bad time for Twitter to go down. Yes Twitter’s Christmas gift to all the Twitter users and their staff itself is the infamous Fail Whale.

s twitter_fail_whale

The status blog was recently updated and said:

We’re currently experiencing some site availability issues; we’re looking into it now and will update when we have more information.

I guess we’ll have to take our Christmas Wishes to then.

Update: Some part of Twitter seems to be coming up. I can see the scripts that run on third-party sites pulling in Tweets.

Update 2: Twitter is back up now.

Facebook Account Suspended Hoax Virus Exploiting Users With Surveys

A new worm is quickly spreading through the internet, and it’s main target is 500 million users. When infected, users who visit facebook.com in their browsers are being displayed a message. "Your account is suspended. To make your account active you need to complete one of these surveys". It’s a hoax and a malicious virus that is looking to make money out of Facebook users.

Facebook Account Suspended Hoax

If you have been victim to a shock saying that your account has been suspended when you visit Facebook and have to complete a survey to be eligible to use it again, you are not alone. According to Symantec, a new worm W32.Yimfoca is spreading through computers and targeting Facebook users.

If you have been infected by this worm, you will be shown a message as seen in the screenshot above. The bad part is that you will be locked out of the website as long as the W32.Yimfoca worm exists on your PC. This worm is also capable of locking you out of other websites too. So you might get this popup when you visit or in future too.

If you fail to complete the survey you will be presented with this message:

You do not have access to you account because you do not complete any survey. Please come back later and tray again

Thankfully the good news is that the exploit only works with Internet Explorer, so you can safely use other browsers to browse your favorite websites.

Removing this virus is simple, just use a good Antivirus and anti-spyware software on your computer and your PC should be safe. If you don’t know, there are quire a few Free Antivirus software available out there. You might also want to read our guides about securing your PC and keeping your PC safe on the Internet.

New Facebook Scam: Girl Killed Herself After Dad Posted On Wall

Well, welcome to another new scam. This one is also as enticing as the past few one’s I have written about. But it looks like someone is just taking this scam to a new level altogether, saying that a girl committed suicide after her dad posted on her Facebook wall.

Facebook OMG Dad Killed Daughter Scam

This is not surprising at all, if you have read or seen the revolving images spam or the fake like button scam or the who checked your Facebook profile scam or the Free iPad test scam or the Cashreport Scam.

Spam Girl Killed Herself Facebook App

Once again, the page for this link leads to a Facebook app, which is nothing but an image with some clever comments et al, however, clicking on it will make you like that page and post a comment on your wall as seen above. Don’t click on anything and let your friends know about it too so that they can delete that update and not infect anyone else.

How can you avoid this? No matter how much we tell people to avoid fake warnings and hoaxes, they still manage to surprise us. We wish we could reach out to 500 million users. Just don’t click on links which look "sexy", "enticing" or "sounds really unreal". Many of these scams just take on human curiosity and succeed big time. So stay curious but don’t click on links which look enticing. If you do, you are just spreading the virus further. Remember, everything that glitters is not GOLD.

Facebook is a huge service, but things like these spoil everything. The amount of Scam and spams that get through to Facebook is astonishing. It is high time that Facebook does something about it. I don’t want to see 50% of my friends updates to be scam or spam posts in 2011.

Friendly For Facebook iPad App Goes Free

One of the most popular , "Friendly for Facebook" has now gone free. The app which cost $0.99 earlier is now available for free in the Apple App Store.

Friendly For Facebook Home Screen Friendly For Facebook Feeds

The official app for is far from perfect, this is where the Friendly for Facebook app comes in to fill the void created by it. Friendly for Facebook has been a top-selling app for iPad since it’s launch back in July 2010.

Friendly for Facebook adds in many features which are lacking in the official Facebook app, some of which include:

  • Swipe through Facebook photos full screen
  • Chat with your online friends
  • Upload/Download Photos
  • Easy switch between multiple Facebook accounts
  • Secure your Facebook Account with a PIN Code access
  • Customize colors and fonts to your liking

The app has some really good ratings and is definitely worth downloading for the iPad. Right now, the app is completely free, but I am not sure how long it will remain free.

Download Friend For Facebook from here.

Backup And Save Your Favorite Tweets With Diigo

provides a way for users to favorite tweets they like. This provides users a good way to reference tweets they want to read later or also look back and read those tweets again.

Also Read: Find When Someone Favorites your Tweets on Twitter

Just like backing up your tweets and Twitter profile, you can also also choose to backup your Twitter favorites and store it someplace safe. The Twitter favorite backup service is provided by Diigo, one of the companies I am coming to love for their products which include a note taking and sticky notes for .

save_favorite_tweets

First off, you will require a new Diigo account to backup or save your Twitter favorites. Creating an account is simple, go ahead and register here. Once you have done that, log into Diigo and click on this link. On this page, you can now connect your Twitter account with Diigo and it will automatically save your twitter favorites to Diigo on a daily basis.

Once you have connected your accounts, you will be able to select whether you want to save all favorites or only favorites which contain links and whether those should be saved publicly or privately on Diigo. In addition to that Diigo will also convert those tweets into bookmarks or notes and can be organized using #hashtags.

P.S. You can also import your Delicious bookmarks to Diigo.

Facebook Down After New Feature Rollout

Looks like another engineer messed up something with the database. Facebook is currently in process of rolling out new features to pages, and the results is that not only can users see the new pages, but the entire site looks like it was snowed out.

Facebook Down Again

Visiting Facebook.com displays a completely blank page to users. I have been seeing this for the past 5-10 minutes now. Don’t panic, the outage should may not last for long though, I hope.

Updates should follow… In the meantime do checkout some Funny Facebook Jokes from the last downtime.

Update: Facebook is accessible at http://iphone.facebook.com, however, the main servers look to be down. You can access Facebook on your iPhone or iPod Touch or on your web browser.

Update 2: The main Facebook site is now up, however, they seem to have rolled back all the new features.

Update 3: Facebook has confirmed that the site was down on their Twitter account @facebook. However, they gave  a strange reason as to why the site was down.

Also, some internal prototypes were exposed to people and resulted in us disabling the site briefly. It’s now back to normal.