Updated Facebook Like Thumbnail WordPress plugin (v0.3.1) released

I just pushed out the latest version of my plugin Facebook Like Thumbnail, v0.3.1 to be precise, on WordPress.org plugins repo. It should show up in your WordPress admin shortly if you are using it and if not, then here is yet another reason to try the plugin out if random or unwanted images show up for your WordPress site when links are liked or shared on Facebook.

The new version is a complete rewrite and is really good at figuring out the context specific image to use for different types of pages. It also deals with situations where earlier version would run into compatibility issues with other plugins. And last but not least, this version is developer friendly in case you want to short-circuit the logic, you are able to do so now. All power to you.

Hit me up if you have any questions. And one real good of piece of advice that I can't mention too much is - Facebook maintains a cache of images selected for every URL (usually 24hours), so your new images won't show up right away, but eventually they will. Facebook has a really nice tool to debug your URLs outside of their cache to test the image being selected for display - https://developers.facebook.com/tools/debug

If you are looking for premium support - get in touch with me via my contact form.

WordPress plugin Facebook Like Thumbnail Updates

I have updated my WordPress plugin to fix Facebook Like Thumbnails to version 0.2 which I am sure will make the existing users happy! :)

Some of the users who quickly upgraded might be facing issues because of a silly mistake on my part. If the plugin has disappeared from the plugins listing, then you would have to delete the folder "facebook-like-thumbnail" folder in your plugins folder (/wp-content/plugins/) and then reinstall the plugin by typing "Facebook Like Thumbnail" in Add New Plugins screen. I apologise for the issue, please excuse me, I am not used to pushing updates to public repositories.

The plugin now features an options pages which can be found under Settings > Facebook Like Thumbnail. You can specify your default thumbnail image on that page, no more code edits are required. This was a necessary move as the users would have to edit the plugin to specify their default image after every upgrade.

The plugin now supports featured thumbnails and NextGEN galleries (other than the slideshow ones).

The plugin picks the thumbnail in the following order (whichever is found first)

  • If its a post or page
    • Featured Thumbnail
    • First Image in the post
    • Default
  • If its a Front Page or Search Page
    • Default
  • Anything else
    • First image in the first post of the loop
    • Default

Facebook Like Thumbnail

Author: Ashfame, version: 0.3.4, updated: September 9, 2014,
Requires WP version: 3.1 or higher, tested up to: 4.0.
Download (54 544 hits) (32 votes)

Adding the author avatar on author pages to be used as thumbnail and ignoring smilies as a possible match for thumbnail are on my To-do lists. If you have any suggestions, comments section is all yours.

Also the plugin can be totally uninstalled by using the delete option from WordPress dashboard, it won't leave anything behind in the database.

I have tried to keep the plugin as fast as it can be. If any developer can provide any suggestions/improvements, I would love that. If you have any questions or facing any issues because of the early upgrade or need any help, give me a shout in the comments.

WordPress Plugin to fix Facebook Like Thumbnail

Today, Facebook pushed live another change which made Like button work similar to what we had known the Share button to do. Just to brush up, Share button was used to show the Title, Description and a screenshot of the page which you shared and the Like button would only show up as a line that the user liked XYZ Story on ABC site. But now after the new change is live, like button functions the same as the Share button.

Here is a screenshot of how the new like would show up on your profile:

facebook-new-like

I don't like the move as people tend to like a lot more stuff than what they share. This is going to stuff the stream with lots of noise. After like is not, and can't be equivalent to share. I might like a post on Ubuntu tutorial but is that something I would want to share with everyone else. No! But that's totally a different story.

Coming back to the point, many sites would show up random image of their page instead of an appropriate image. I have seen this on several blogs including mine, that sometimes an advertisement image would show up (from the sidebar), or a totally unrelated image of my another project (from the footer). so, I took this opportunity today to fix it for everyone.

You can check what thumbnail would Facebook show for a particular page by using their Lint tool.

The problem can be solved for non-WordPress based or html sites or whatever, by adding this line to their head section.

<link rel="image_src" href="http://example.com/logo.png" />

This will show that image on every page. But in WordPress, we can do a lot more, that's because WordPress is a brilliant piece of software.

You can use the plugin to fix the issue. It will display the first image of the post or page you are on. In case someone likes your Category or Tag page, then the first image of the first post in the listing will be used.

Facebook Like Thumbnail

Author: Ashfame, version: 0.3.4, updated: September 9, 2014,
Requires WP version: 3.1 or higher, tested up to: 4.0.
Download (54 544 hits) (32 votes)

You will need to edit a line which is highlighted in the code below to change the default fallback image to your logo so that whenever, the post doesn't have any image in it, your logo will be displayed. If you don't edit that line, then my logo will be displayed and I might sue you for that.

I have added a couple of features in the plugin, so I don't recommend you to use the snippet anymore. Using the plugin will make it easier for you to receive updates without touching any code. WordPress Facebook Like Thumbnail Plugin v0.2

In case, you don't want to download yet another plugin, you can add the following code in your functions.php file I recommend everyone to use the plugin version instead so that you can receive updates automatically.

Facebook crawls your page every 24 hours (at max), so you may not see the change right away but you would see it instantaneously, if you use the Linter tool once for that page because it updates the thumbnail for that page, right away.

I might add an options page for it to add an image if users request start coming up. Also I will host it on WordPress repositories once I get the time to, as I will need to look into it first.

If you have any question, you can ask in the comments. Also, please like it (not share) to share it with other fellow bloggers.

Facebook new spam attack

I have earlier written about Facebook spam message attack and now again a new spam attack is spreading and it will reach you soon because it develops a curiosity in whosoever reads it & many people click on it, to know more about it and end up posting spam message on their friend's wall.

The current spam attack message is similar to the one we all have already seen, its about a girl getting expelled from school after her teacher read her Facebook status update. Here is a screenshot:

fb spam attack

If you click on the link, you will land upon a page which asks you to login on the site using Facebook and then the app's permission will show up.

fb spam app permissions

One can clearly tell that they are trying to steal your email and asking for permission to post on wall for further spreading this spam so that more and more people fall for it. I have written about how Facebook Apps steal user data. Report such apps to Facebook by clicking on the Report App link.

So when you see someone you know posting this on your wall, make sure you report it as spam. This will remove it from your wall to and less people will fall for it.

report spam facebook

This one will be harder to control as I noticed that the same spam message was posted using different apps.

Spread awareness and don't let others fool you by falling for this spam. Let your friends know about it, click on this link - Share with friends on Facebook.

Happy and Safe Facebook’ing!

Facebook Apps are stealing users data

We all know people try dozens of Facebook Apps to kill time on Facebook. Although some are legitimate but majority of them are just scam. If you care about your privacy i.e. your personal details, then this article is for you.

Apps like Who will murder you? and Know when will you die? are stupid from the logical sense and anyone can tell that they are fooling around, yet people try them. Apps like Chinese Zodiac also fool around but I must say, one was genuine and another one I found was just scrapping off your data.

What it is about?

Facebook has privacy options which means you give permission to other people or apps to get access to your data. It all happens with your consent. In lieu of fun, people try apps which are malicious and were built with the intention of stealing your personal details. They then sell your details to companies and yes, there is a good market for that.

What you can do to save yourself?

First of all, stop fooling around with useless apps. Even if you are trying an app, pay attention to what permissions you are granting them while allowing access. Use some brain if they really need that much access to my details, if its suspicious, then it probably is. Let us go by a couple of examples.

Example #1

I tried this app named Status Analyzer 3D (link), which shows you a 3D cloud for the most common words found in your status updates. Alright! This is a worth one to try. Lets see the permissions it asks for.

Facebook legitimate app

Access my basic information - Don't worry about this one. It's the information you already have shared with everyone. If you have right default privacy settings in Facebook then this is not a thing to worry about.

Access posts in my News Feed - It needs to grab the status updates so that it can make out the most used words, makes sense. So trying such an app is fine.

Example #2

Lets try out a different app named Chinese Zodiac (link), which tells you about your Chinese Zodiac sign. I found a genuine one too, but in this context I will talking about the malicious one. Again lets see the permission it asks for.

Facebook malicious app

Access my basic information - Its okay!

Post to my Wall - All the apps would like to share the result of what they do on your wall so that even your friends can see it and try them. Irritating and offending is the one which doesn't confirm with you before actually posting the result or anything on your wall.

Access my data any time - Seriously? Anyone can sense something suspicious here. If not, fix yourself up before anything else. I can only imagine the use of it when the app needs to continuously access your date when it is doing some repetitive tasks for you. Most of the time, this is not needed.

For such apps, don't allow them access and report them. I have already reported this app. Actually I even emailed the developer sometime back but never heard back from him.

With over 500 million users around the world, the users are targeted for stealing their data and then selling this data to marketing companies and like. Stand up and save yourself. I will also write on how you can kill applications that have already access to your data. I only keep apps that I trust very much and if I even try out some app for fun, I remove that right away.

Were you trying all those stupid apps? Or have you tried such apps in the past? Have your say in the comments.

New Facebook features exposed accidentally

Last night, Facebook actually went live with some new features, which were not supposed to be pushed live and then reverted back to the earlier version of the Facebook pages and then went down (yeah! Facebook went down) and got back up after restoring the previous state before accidental update.

Facebook tweeted that some internal prototypes were exposed to people due to which they had to disable the site briefly and then put it back on the previous state.

fb tweet

People were quick enough to take screenshots of the new features. Most of the screenshots credit goes to Mashable but their update to the post which indicates lightbox UI for photos and comment box without “Comment” button wasn’t revealed last night, they were being given to certain users for quite some time now.

New Facebook Pages

new fb pages

Facebook Fanpages got a new tab-free design which creates question on what will happen to the marketing aspect of the pages as there will be no landing pages to improve conversion of visitors.

When pressed for clarification specifically around Pages, a Facebook spokesperson shared the following statement: “While we are always experimenting with new features internally we are not making changes to Pages right now. Organizations invest a lot of time on their Facebook Pages because millions of people find them useful everyday. We remain committed to providing ways for Page owners to customize and control the experience on their Page. If we do make changes, we will provide partners with advance notice.”

The navigation were put under the display picture just like the member profiles.

Switch Accounts and Login as Page

fb switch accounts

Users can now login as Pages and use them as they had a different account with the name of their fanpage. Interesting!

Memories

fb memories

Credit goes to Mashable for reporting this as I didn't notice it myself. They say several people has reported having access to a new "Memories" option listed below photos in the left hand menu on their profile pages. It looks like it gives an option for user to browse in facebook activities grouped by years. It allowed you to look back at status updates, photos, and new friends, giving a snapshot of each year one have been on Facebook. Pretty cool indeed!

Outside World News Feed Filter

fb news feed filter

A new filter named "Outside World" has been seen in filtering out the stories in your "Most Recent" stream. Not sure what exactly it is supposed to do.

Photos Lighbox UI

fb lightbox UI

Mashable has added this to their post too on the basis of comments by the visitors, that they saw the "Lightbox UI" but I can assure you that it was available for certain users for quite some time now. I saw that this was available to one of my friends, when I happen to visit his place a few days back. It was also reported that they see some errors too.

Comment Box without Comment button

fb comment box

Again Mashable readers reported that they saw comment box without comment button, in which the user can just submit the content by hitting enter instead of clicking any button. Well, I am using this on several places for several days now. no new thing in this feature. May be it is being made available to a small set of users for testing things out, just like how Google do it.

Well, that's all for the last night accidental push of certain new features, out of which two were there and probably are available for certain users for testing purposes and was certainly not a part of leaked features.

Did you notice to see any of the changes too? Please tell us in the comments.

Facebook Spam Message Attack

A new spam attack on Facebook is in circulation these days, in which you will receive a message from one of your friends with a link to a video claiming the video should have millions of views and it may seem that your friend is amazed with the video but its the other story round. Your friend has become the victim of this spam attack and a same message has been sent out to all of his friends so that others can fall in this trap too.

How to recognize and save yourself from attack?

Here is how it look like :

fb spam

People are reporting that it asks you to do a security check as shown in the next screenshot

fb spam

After that it asks you to press some keyboard shortcuts which actually work like copy pasting the malicious javascript code in your address bar. This grants them the permission and the spam attack successfully messages all your friends.

It is spreading at a very fast rate. Beware that it can be something different but it should look like similar, so take care of such things in future too. If your friend sends you something, then ask them before trying it out if they have actually sent it or not. And when you know it is spam, delete the message and inform your friend that a spam message has been sent out from his/her account and he should warn his/her friends not to click on the message link.

How to stop it from spreading?

Go to the infected page and click on Report Page in the lower left side as shown in the screenshot. Don't "Like" the page.

fb spam

Let your friends know about this attack, click on this link -> share this post on facebook.

Happy and Safe Facebook’ing!