Abusing the new Facebook profile layout

My love for blogging has pretty much all but disappeared hence the very limited updates on this blog, it just seems that each time I want to sit down and write something I have 10 other things that are more important. Anyway Esrun said I should blog about this, so here goes.

Recently Facebook gave users the option to switch to a new profile layout, at the time of writing this is entirely opt in so not everyone will see it. You need to visit a friends page who has switched to the new profile and then click the button and confirm that you also want to switch to the new profile. The jury is still out on whether this new profile is better than the old one, but it does have one major flaw at that is as follows.

At the top of each person’s profile are 5 pictures, there is no direct way to chose which pictures you want or the order that they appear in, basically Facebook thought it would be a great idea to just have the last 5 recently tagged photos of you appear in this line up. Aside from the fact that you may be smashed at a party and someone tags an unflattering photo of you, causing it to be right there at the top of the page, it is also open to some creative abuse.

As I said, it takes the last 5 tagged photo, so i decided to create a new album with some alphabet letters and then send some messages to my friends. You must remember to tag the last letter first, and then work backwards.

Here my good friend Mikey is reminded of what I think of him


So there is a message I came up with really quick, I am sure there are much more funny and creative ways of doing this but it seems a really stupid idea by the developers to just let the last 5 tagged photos appear at the top of the page. Of course the user has the choice to change the images, but its a long process where you click an [x] and FB cycles through your last tagged images. Here is what I would like to see to make the top 5 images better…

  1. Allow a privacy setting which stops third party tagged photos appear in the top 5
  2. Allow me to select which images i want in the top 5 from my albums
  3. Allow me to rearrange the order of the images

Maybe they will make some changes, but i doubt it, in the mean time, go have some fun, and post any good ones you make in the comments below 😉

Facebook for iPhone adds image sync and push notifications

As per usual, this is a super quick blog post, but i downloaded the latest Facebook application for the iPhone and noted some new changes. Firstly you get the ability to sync your contact images with that of your friends on Facebook. Could this mean the death of apps like FriendSync? However you still cannot copy the entire Facebook phonebook to your device, which doesn’t bother me but i am sure a lot of people would like it.

Secondly you can know get push notifications for Messages, Wall Posts, Comments, Tagged pictures and a couple of other things.

Mashable has a pretty good write up which i have blatantly stolen and pasted below…

Up until now, the Facebook iPhone app [iTunes link] had everything but push notifications. The launch of version 3.1, however, remedies that ill. The other 3.1 biggie is the ability to sync your Facebook friends with your phone’s address book contacts — photos and all.

Push Notifications

When 3.0 came out this summer, there were some vocal complaints that the Facebook (Facebook) iPhone (iPhone) app didn’t do push notifications; it seems like basic functionality for any post-iPhone OS 3.0 application. Now when you start the app up after updating, you’ll be prompted asking if it’s okay to do notifications. Once you’ve said yes, it follows the standard iPhone notifications rules. You can customize what you’ll receive in settings.

Address Book Syncing

Right after you allow or deny notifications at the beginning, you’ll be asked if you want to sync with your address book. It will sync personal data, and change your contacts’ listed homepages to their Facebook profile URLs if they didn’t list anything themselves. You can choose whether or not to sync profile pictures, but that’s the only customization option you have. Still, it’s a very welcome feature.

A Minor Quibble

You’ll probably want to customize your push notification settings right away, because we quickly discovered that all notifications options are on by default: messages, wall posts, friend requests, friend confirmations, photo tags, events and comments. It can get a little spammy, and if you already have e-mail notifications set up (and push e-mail on your phone) you’ll end up getting double notifications for some things. It’s a small hassle, but easily sorted out.

Let me know what you think :o)

Facebook users are loyal, just like your pet dog

*Blows dust of keyboard*

Its been a long time since i blogged here. Its kinda weird ya know, if i get a nice little run going then i really get into blogging, but if i stop for a month or so whilst i am trafficking small children across the globe it kind of ruins my stride.

Silly jokes aside though, i just read a post on Mashable which reaffirms what I have been saying for ages when i have been championing technologies like Facebook connect. Users who visit your site from Social Media websites are loyal and they will return, why? Because they probably found your site through a friends recommendation, and people are friends because they have things in common, well either that or they have lots a chocolate chip cookies that they like to give out.

Since i am lazy and i have said all i want to say at 17:24 on a Tuesday afternoon, i am just going to quote the Mashable post about this…

That’s the subject of a new study by ad network Chitika, who analysed the browsing habits of 33 million unique users over the course of September.

According to their findings, Facebook provides the most loyal visitors, with 20% of those that originate from the social network in turn visiting the site they landed upon four or more times in a week. Among other social media sites, Digg traffic produced loyal users 16% of the time, while Twitter traffic was only good for 11% loyalty.

In the realm of search engines, Yahoo provides the most loyal visitors at 15%, followed by Google and Bing with around 12% each.


So just remember, it is always worth having a presence on social media sites, just make sure you do it properly.

Custom Facebook URL’s to be launched on June 13th

If you haven’t logged into Facebook tonight then you may not have had a chance to see the new notice which explains that on Saturday 13th June at 05:01 (GMT) you will have the chance to register a URL for your Facebook page. Obviously this makes it a lot easier for people to find you after you meet them at a party or something. Instead of having to search through all the people with the same name to add you as a friend, people will simply be able to type www.facebook.com/yourname

username info

Basically, what will happen is when you login after the above mentioned time, you will get a message asking you to register a URL There are a number of different suggested options and also the chance to pick your own name. Now i imagine that a lot of the big company names are not allowed, however if Facebook aren’t too strict then i wonder how many people will register competitors names. giving us a new form of cyber squating? Will Facebook take steps to stop people registering trademarked names? What happens if you do, will they take that name away from you? These are all questions that are left unanswered that this time.

fbnameThe above image from the Facebook blog shows how you will be able to select your name, i feel sorry for all the people with common names who are probably going to end up with bobsmith1982 or something alike. Still, i am sure that many people probably wont be that fussed.

So get your alarms set for 05:01 if you want the choice of the so coined ‘vanity url’ that you have always wanted.

Microsoft announces XBox Facebook connect integration

Microsoft today announced that they would be including a pretty tight integration of Facebook connect into the XBox live system. There are two parts to this story, one is that all future XBox games will allow users to post back information to their Facebook Streams and walls based off achievements in games, high scores etc. Facebook connect will also be used to pull in friends and marry them up to your Xbox live account.

The second part is that there is going to effectively be a Facebook application on the XBox which will allow you to see friends photos, comments, videos etc.

XBOX facebookAll this news came from the Gizmodo Live stream which is following the E3 conference, where by the big names in the gaming industry show off whats new. I am very surprised that Nintendo haven’t jumped on the Facebook bandwagon as it would seem to fit very well with the Wii.

Edit: At the Nintendo conference in the afternoon, they announced that the DSI would integrate with Facebook to allow users to upload photos straight from the device.


There are some suspected 20 million + XBox live owners, and since Facebook connect now integrates with 3rd party websites, iPhone applications, the XBox, and now DSI we should surely see it grow and grow into a monster application.