Category Archives: Facebook

Advertisers impersonating Facebook ON Facebook

This “Mailbook” advert appeared on Scrabble, just below the normal Facebook toolbar.

"Mailbook" ad seen on Facebook

Seems dodgy to me. It’s a quite misleading way to try and get you to click on the ad.

Surprised Facebook would allow something that appears so similar to their own navigation.

Maybe they haven’t spotted it yet. I wonder if the icons are pixel-for-pixel copies?

Facebook: Download your information

Facebook downloadI had a quick look at Facebook’s Download Your Information feature — evidently added a few months ago due to criticism about the accessibility of people’s data once it’s dumped into the Facebook bottomless pit.

You can find it via the My Account screen, by clicking Download Your Information.

It asks for some time to compile all the information — in my case this took about half an hour — then emails you to say it’s ready to download, and provides a link and re-checks your password.

It comes as a single zip file, with HTML and pictures inside it.

Opening the index.html file, you’ll find a version of your Profile page, with links to all the other information in the archive, including Wall, Photos, Friends, Events, Messages.

The Wall in my case was 1.5 Mb of HTML, going back to 2007, and I suspect is every Wall post (and replies from friends) I’ve ever made. Friends is just an unlinked list of all your friends (name only). Messages has all your message threads, and replies.

You can browse the photos via the directory of the same name; subdirectories reflect the folders. It looks like all the photo files are at the size that Facebook shrunk them down to when they were uploaded.

To actually get this information into another service, you’d need to do some trickery with munging the HTML. The code they’ve used seems relatively clean and easy to parse.

So all in all, quite a handy feature, and goes a long way towards dispelling fears that information pumped into Facebook was lost forever behind a zillion clicks of to show “Older Posts”.

(It doesn’t appear that Twitter has a comparable feature.)

Facebook Scrabble unstoppable advert

Oh Scrabble, you bastards.

Facebook Scrabble unstoppable ad

This new advert appears when opening up Facebook Scrabble (the international version).

Gripes:

  • Total advert length might be 45 seconds or more
  • Sometimes it’s a video advert, sometimes it’s a moronic Flash game or one of those stupid “You have a new message!” mock emails
  • Looks like you can’t stop it until there’s only 15 seconds left. After that it seems a Continue button appears
  • For videos, once advert has buggered off and the game fully loaded, the player details don’t appear properly. The video advert has stuffed it. Everybody remains “Anyone”

Apparently we weren’t paying the adverts enough attention, now they want to shove it in our faces.

Way to piss off your users.

Looks like I can stop recommending Scrabble on Facebook to people.

Damn you Facebook

I just want to look at a photo a friend has posted. No doubt the app in question makes it very easy for my friend to post the photo, but it’s difficult for me to see it without handing over a bunch of control to the app.

Facebook Photo of the Day app permissions

Now, I know it’s not Facebook’s fault specifically, but c’mon, why do I need to give an application access to my Profile and details of my friends just to look at a photo? I don’t want to do that.

Surely they could change the FB API around so it’s easier to have simple interaction with an application (eg to just look at the photo, not post my own) without handing over this kind of permission?

But then the app wouldn’t spread so fast virally, would it.

The fact that this kind of stuff is so typical is not exactly training users to be careful about minding their privacy online.

Fortunately in this case, it appears that the app is just re-broadcasting a photo from the user’s existing collection of photos, so I’ve been able to hunt it down and look at it there.

Of course, it’s in the FB photos standard lowish resolution, no bigger copy available, but that’s another story.