Facebook Private Messages are appearing on your Timeline!

Well, not quite. From the looks of it, the whole story is a bit more complicated and serves as a nice illustration of the short-term memory of consumers and how that plays with unvalidated assumptions. Be aware when you change user experiences that people will have made up reasons (that may or may not be true) to explain particular application behaviors. When an old assumption that was not correct is illuminated as such, and there is no pre-emptive information sharing about it, people will be confused and upset.

Update: Facebook Confirms No Private Messages Appearing On Timeline. They’re Old Wall Posts.

Facebook also says in no uncertain terms that there is absolutely no privacy bug. What people are seeing are old Wall postings, not private messages. A spokesperson told Constine:

“Every report we’ve seen, we’ve gone back and checked. We haven’t seen one report that’s been confirmed [of a private message being exposed]. A lot of the confusion is because before 2009 there were no likes and no comments on wall posts. People went back and forth with wall posts instead of having a conversation [in the comments of single wall post.]“

Facebook privacy scare illuminates the evolution of online conversation

Facebook users worldwide today are claiming that private messages sent in 2008 and 2009 are now publicly viewable on their Timeline profile pages. A news story about the issue was first posted by Metro France, and was afterward picked up by sites like The Next Web and TechCrunch.

Facebook said to The Verge:

“A small number of users raised concerns after what they mistakenly believed to be private messages appeared on their Timeline. Our engineers investigated these reports and found that the messages were older wall posts that had always been visible on the users’ profile pages. Facebook is satisfied that there has been no breach of user privacy.”

– Randall Noval


Real-time Facebook cover photo

From Zaraguza Digital, they automatically upload a snapshot from an office webcam every time a user visits their page. While automatically updating the FB Cover Photo is supported by the FB API, this may be an involved process to setup all the parts. It’s an interesting concept and though it’s not possible to animate the cover photo, having it automatically update or respond to external events could be interesting.

World’s First Real Time Facebook Cover Image


Zaraguza are claiming to have created the world’s first real time Facebook cover image, which updates at what looks like every minute or so, by posting a new image into a Facebook album which is sucked into the Cover image automatically, and is refreshed when new people hit the page or click the refresh button. Kinda cool, I suspect this will start trending. What do you think?

VIDEO – Real Time Facebook Cover – Zaraguza Digital – BIG

In Zaraguza Digital we experimented a bit. Namely with Facebook cover photo feature and a webcam. After a few tweaks, our regular Facebook cover became a real-time Facebook cover. Zaraguza live cover was launched on July 30th 2012.

NOTE: A cover is the large photo at the top of your timeline right above your profile picture. Facebook found out that people have a better experience viewing yout timeline when they see a cover that is as unique as you are. So now, you can see us, LIVE 🙂

– Randall Noval

Wolfram Alpha analyzes your Facebook profile

Wolfram Alpha (your favorite online computing engine) has recently launched a v.cool analysis of your FB profile. It’s full of charts and graphs and word clouds and a friend network and lots more fun data munching.

Simply go to http://wolframalpha.com/ and type in “facebook report” to get yours. Here’s a sample of my friend network using clustering by mutual friends:


Wolfram Alpha launches Facebook personal analytics reports


Wolfram Alpha is continuing to expand into the data analytics space with a feature that will likely be more popular amongst regular users than its professional data analysis service: personal analytics reports based on Facebook. To try it, simply go to Wolfram Alpha’s website, type in “Facebook report,” and enable the Wolfram Alpha Facebook app. As you might expect, it needs plenty of permissions in order to analyze your Facebook activity and friends, but once you grant them, Wolfram Alpha kicks out a remarkably detailed report in very short order. Details on where you checked in, whether your friends are married or single, a cluster-map of your friend network, and information about your own Facebook usage are all presented with detailed graphs that you can easily share.

You might think of it as a data-lover’s version of Facebook’s own Timeline, broken down into as many as 60 different reports. It is a stunning reminder of just how much Facebook knows about you and your network, and also gives you a chance to dig into your personal analytics almost as much as Stephen Wolfram has dug into his.



And today I’m excited to announce that we’ve developed a first round of capabilities in Wolfram|Alpha to let anyone do personal analytics with Facebook data. Wolfram|Alpha knows about all kinds of knowledge domains; now it can know about you, and apply its powers of analysis to give you all sorts of personal analytics. And this is just the beginning; over the months to come, particularly as we see about how people use this, we’ll be adding more and more capabilities.

If you’re doing this for the first time, you’ll be prompted to authenticate the Wolfram Connection app in Facebook, and then sign in to Wolfram|Alpha (yes, it’s free). And as soon as you’ve done that, Wolfram|Alpha will immediately get to work generating a personal analytics report from the data it can get about you through Facebook.

– Randall Noval

This Is Now

This is a great idea, showing the pulse of a city through Instagram photos. This is something that could be expanded to include other types of content, social networks, themes, etc. Throw in a couple of keywords to filter with and you could have a live stream of content around a particular topic happening at that time. (e.g. @coke, #happiness, NYC or @dentyne, #connection, San Francisco)

This is Now


This is Now project is a visual composition which uses real-time updates from the ever popular Instagram application based on users geo-tag locations. The tool streams photos instantly as soon as they are uploaded on Instagram and captures a city’s movement, in a fluid story.

– Randall Noval

Philips "invents" a new "augmented reality" "technology"

It was a difficult problem, how do you sell facial hair grooming products to clean-shaven men who don’t like any facial hair? I’m actually going to suggest skipping the article and just watching the 2 min video. Very smart!

Philips Promotes Shaving Products With Hilarious ‘AR’ Campaign

– Randall Noval

The Worst Meatball Sandwich

Here’s a little fun to start your week off right. This restaurant (JoeDough) in the east village had a bad review on Yelp and decided to have a little fun with it. I didn’t take the picture, but I if I were walking by there, I’d probably at least step in and take a look. I like that they kept the comment context and tried to put a spin on it the put them in a positive light.

Everyone loves a really bad meatball sandwich!


– Randall Noval

People Will Do Crazy Stuff

If you write it down on a card where they can find it. Check out this fun little experiment involving Truth or Dare in Washington Square park (the video at the end of the post is awesome!). What can you bring to your next ideation session that encourages people to have fun, play and engage with other people in a positive way?

Truth or Dare

New Yorkers are pretty closed off. It’s hard to make eye contact, let alone introduce yourself to someone new. So to make New York a little more friendly I took the middle school approach and organized a massive game of truth or dare. I wrote up 300 cards and put them around Washington Square Park on June 9th for the public to play with.

Making something simple and engaging and awesome can get great press too.

Watch New Yorkers Play an Epic Game of Truth or Dare

Truth or dare – two ways of bringing New York together

Video: Watch New Yorkers Stumble Upon Random Game Of Truth Or Dare

Giant Truth or Dare game turns New York into a middle-school party

Truth or Dare of the Day

– Randall Noval

Twitter Tailored Trends Tweaked

FYI, on Tuesday, Twitter updated their algorithm to personalize the Trends list by State & regions of the world.

Twitter Changes Algorithms To Tailor Trends [Updates]

With the new algorithm, trends will be listed by default based on your location and the people you follow. If the trends are not tailored to what you’re looking for, you can switch from your local list to worldwide, or one of 150 other locations, including 36 different countries.

Tailored Trends bring you closer

Trends help you discover the emerging topics people are talking about on Twitter. You can see these topics as a worldwide list, or select one of more than 150 locations. In order to show emerging topics that matter more to you, today we’re improving our algorithms to tailor Trends based on your location and who you follow on Twitter.

These Trends lists are tailored for you by default on twitter.com and mobile apps like Twitter for iPhone and Twitter for Android. If you don’t wish to see tailored Trends, but instead want to see a more general list of Trends, just change your location on twitter.com. Of course, anytime you want a glimpse into the conversations that are happening on Twitter around the world, you can always select individual countries and cities to see Trends in those locations. Look out for tailored Trends as they roll out gradually starting today.

– Sara Mauskopf, Product Manager (@sm)

– Randall Noval