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28 Dec 12 Facebook Develops New Scheme to Collect Your Credit Card Number

Facebook, like many other companies, is constantly looking for new ways to get you to store your credit card information on file with them. Why? Because once it’s stored, they believe you’ll be more likely to spend more money with them. After all, it’s a lot easier to push a few buttons and send gifts to your friends or pay for credits to your favorite game than it is to input your information at another location. Their latest scheme involves charging users to send messages to people outside their friend list.

Say you have a long-lost friend that you think you just found on Facebook. You want to send that person a message first to make sure they are who you think they are. After all, basic Facebook security measures include be selective in who you choose to friend. Now, in order to find out if said person really is that great long-lost friend, Facebook may charge you a dollar for the privilege of using their service to reconnect.

Technically, you can still send the message for free, but if you’re not friends with the person, your message will end up in their “other” folder- a place where messages go to die on Facebook. They won’t receive notification of your message, and there is a good chance they don’t even realize they have such a folder. Paying the $1 guarantees that your message will end up in their regular inbox, so they’ll actually see it.

If it seems ludicrous, consider all the other things that Facebook is now charging you for. Personal users can pay money to make sure their status updates actually show up in their friend’s news feeds. The average charge is $7 per status update. Facebook page owners have it much worse. Companies and bloggers who worked hard to build a huge following on Facebook are incredibly frustrated to find that only about 1% of their fans actually get to see their content. Unless, of course,  the owners want to pay fees to get their messages out to their fans.

The whole issue of paying to use the features that Facebook is best known for is kind of funny, considering the rumors going around over the last few years that Facebook would begin charging for its services. Back then, Facebook assured users that it had no intention of going to a subscription-based service. Now, many users are wishing that they would charge something as simple as a subscription fee’ It would be a lot less expensive than paying $1 per message every time you want to plan a family reunion, $7 every time you want all your friends to actually see an important update, and hundreds of dollars a day to reach every one of your fans.

Has Facebook jumped the shark with this last stunt? Some would say they jumped it long ago. With so many other options available, it seems ludicrous to think that anyone would actually pay to use Facebook, but then again, people do get used to certain networks and may go for anything to maintain their routine. Time will tell.

13 Dec 12 Facebook vs. Google: The Battle for Social Media Dominance

Since the day Google launched their new social media network, Google+, there has been a raging debate over who would prevail in the Facebook versus Google+ battle to become the number one network. Well, the competition is far from over, and it’s kind of unfair to compare a brand new, fledgling network to the already established Facebook. Of course Facebook is still coming out ahead in the battle, Google+ hasn’t really had a chance to catch up. Still, even if they were both on even footing time-wise, it’s unlikely that Google+ would draw the same crowd that Facebook brings in.


11 Nov 12 Are Your Social Media Passwords Safe? How To Protect Yourself from Hackers

With the recent massive Twitter password reset to protect potentially compromised accounts, and the rise in hacked Facebook passwords, now is as good a time as any to make sure your password is as secure as possible. The sad truth is, there is really nothing you can do to completely protect your social media accounts from getting hacked.

What Happened to Twitter?

Short story- no one really seems to know. While all the IT News sites are abuzz with the mass emailing that Twitter did insisting that certain users reset their password, information on the comprise is minimal. Basically, Twitter is letting these users know that their data may have been compromised, and in order to ensure the safety of your account, they need you to reset your password. In fact, it’s not a request, it’s a demand. Reset it or stay locked out of your account. Of course, who would want to ignore a demand like that in the first place? No one wants some random stranger tweeting out through their stream!