Skype and Facebook owned the headlines this week with their integration news. Meanwhile, yet another of Zoho's apps went mobile and we took a look at how to manage the malware that comes through social networks.
And then suddenly Skype was the hottest property on the planet, acquired at a premium by Microsoft, feted by Apple and Sony to appear in burnished form on their lead devices, and now appearing in a technology tie-up with Facebook to offer video chat between you and your social media friends.
The new Video Calling feature works by clicking on the Video Call button. A pop-up video shows your camera's view while the call is established, then your friend pops up and off you go. It's all in-browser, with only that minor one-time plug-in to start the whole thing rolling.
Soon you'll call your family, who'll call their friends, who'll rope in their friends, making the whole thing a viral process waiting to happen with no log-ins, delays or logos.
According to a San Francisco Chronicle article, Steve Ballmer was, "as excited about this as anyone was. Skype's strategy is about endpoints, we want to be as ubiquitous as possible… If we integrate with Microsoft's assets, that's great. You can now talk from Microsoft assets into the Facebook network."
Meanwhile, Skype CEO Tony Bates mentioned that Microsoft helped keep the new partnership moving forward, which was started before the MS/Skype deal. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook has a really good relationship with Microsoft — not surprising as the OS company has a minor stake in Facebook.
Zoho's new (and free) mobile CRM app allows access to leads, accounts, contacts, possible customers and their customer-related activities. Data for Zoho CRM is stored locally on the iPhone so you can work with no signal, or if the phone needs to be in airplace mode; users can create, edit or delete records, with those changes updated when you get back online.
The app works happily in the background so you can get on with calling and making sales. It can also integrate with other apps, so you can send e-mail, log calls as you make them and locate a client on the map and navigate to them.
The app is free but it costs US$ 3 per user per month to subscribe to Zoho CRM Mobile. Enterprise edition customers get this for free. If your organization doesn't give out iPhones, there is always the web app, which works in Android and BlackBerry mobile browsers.
You read it right: Web discovery site StumbleUpon is generating more traffic for other websites than the mighty Facebook.
StumbleUpon and Facebook have remained far ahead of rivals such as Twitter, reddit, YouTube and Digg, but Facebook's numbers have dived in recent months, allowing StumbleUpon to take a narrow lead. Is this an increasing sign of Facebook's drop in relevance among users?
You can go play with StatCounter's interactive metrics here and juggle the numbers for yourself. On a global basis, Facebook is still miles ahead with some 61% of the market, but StumbleUpon is rising quickly, almost up to 24%.
StumbleUpon went back into private hands after its purchase by eBay a few years back, but is now in a major rise up the rankings and could be one to watch for future investment and growth.
Have you ever been tagged by fellow Facebook users for photos that don't actually include you, but are of products of dubious origin? Have you been invited to install an application, but find your account spamming everyone in your contact list afterward? Have you fallen for tricky login boxes that gain access to your password and email inbox? Welcome to the world of social network spam. You are not alone, as Symantec reports that social network spam and malware attacks are on the rise.
Symantec released a report that details trends in how social network spam and malware work. Spammers and malicious hackers have become more sophisticated in doing their social engineering attacks, but there seems to be a cycle in how social engineering attacks are done. Symantec says you will see spam and attacks surge to a rise on a certain network, drastically fall, and then move on to another network. The average life of spam is 15 to 20 days, and you can sometimes see the trend cycling through Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, among other social media sites.
Various web apps and social networks implement different ways to improve their security. For instance, Google is implementing an optional two-step login, in which users will have to key in a verification code received via SMS, on top of the password. Facebook is asking users to authorize machines that gain access to their accounts, among other security measures. But security goes beyond the tools that websites and apps give you. Social engineering attacks rely on actions to deliver their payload and proliferate. Here's how you can help stop spam.