PicYou – Add Instagram Style Effects To Your Facebook And Twitter Photos

Photo sharing apps are all the rage this season. There is the darling of the media, Instagram, that seems to be leading the charge right now but there are also others such as EyeEM, Color, Lightbox, PicPlz and a gazillion others. Then there are the social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and now Google+ that offer photo sharing as an essential part of the whole social experience.

The essential difference, though, between Instagram and all of it’s competitors is that Instagram is hugely popular and successful while the rest are just, mostly, imitating it.

So, when I was contacted by a rep from a company last week about their latest photo sharing called PicYou, I was (rightfully) skeptical.

And how wrong was I !

PicYou is an online photo sharing website that also offers Instagram style filters and lets you share your masterpiece with your Facebook and Twitter friends.

Uploading photos to PicYou couldn’t be easier. Login to the website using your Twitter or Facebook credentials, upload your photos and apply the available filters. That’s it.


Play around with the various filters available and when you’re satisfied, tick the option to share your photo on Twitter/Facebook. PicYou also has the concept of followers, where other users can follow your profile if they like your photos interesting, so you don’t have to share your photos with all your Facebook and Twitter friends to be appreciated.

Now, let me be absolutely clear. PicYou is not better than Instagram and is not going to replace it for the majority of you. Hell, PicYou is, as far as I can tell, not even competing with Instagram. Instagram has a dedicated network of photo sharing (camera) trigger happy users that are not going to jump ship to any other similar social network unless all their favorite Instagram photogs do so.

PicYou users, on the other hand, are the kind of casual amateur photographers who would like to share their latest masterpieces instantly with their Facebook friends and Twitter followers. They’re not, necessarily, looking for appreciation. Their goal is to let their friends and family see their photos and the filters just make those photos look a lot more interesting. The big advantage, of course, is the fact that Picyou is accessible from a browser while Instagram is an iPhone only app. I’ve been told that a PicYou mobile app is also in the works, though, and that should make things interesting in this space.

Which is your favorite photo sharing app ?


How To Backup All Your Facebook Profile Data

FacebookFacebook is the world’s most popular social network with over 600 million users. 600 million users who post millions of status messages and upload millions of photos to the site every single day. In fact, Facebook is also the biggest online photo sharing site in the world.

But, have you ever thought what would happen to all that data if the site decides to shut down one day ? Or even worse, what if Facebook decides to ban you from using it for violation of some policy that you weren’t even aware existed ? This isn’t new and has happened to a number of people.

In such a case, wouldn’t it be nice to have an offline backup of all your activity on Facebook ?

Thankfully, the smart programmers at Facebook also realized this and built a feature that lets users take a backup of their profiles. The feature is built-in to facebook and we’re going to show you how to use it.

How To Backup All Your Facebook Data

Log in to you Facebook account and click the Account link on the top right corner of the page. From the drop down, select Account Settings.

Facebook Account Settings

Now, on the Account Settings page, you should see an option that says “Download Your Information”. Click the learn more link next to it.

Since, this option lets you download all the data in your facebook profile and the data may be a little sensitive, Facebook will ask you to authenticate again using your password. Enter your password and click the Continue button.

Download Your Facebook Data

Facebook will now tell you, approximately, the size of the data that you’re about to download. Just click on the Download Now button and Facebook will start backing up all your data. This process happens on facebook’s servers and you will receive an email once the process is complete. Be warned, if you’re a heavy facebook user, this process might take a while.

Downloading Profile Data

When your backup is ready to be downloaded, Facebook will send you an email with a link to a zip file containing all your profile data including your wall posts, pictures and any notes that you may have written. You may want to keep this file in a safe place if you’re paranoid about security.

Facebook Data Download Email

Did you find this post helpful ? Have you ever thought of taking a backup of your Facebook profile data ?

7 Desktop Tools To Get The Most Out Of Your Facebook Account

A social networking website with over 600 million users needs absolutely no introduction. Facebook, without a doubt, is the biggest phenomenon of our times and an absolute craze on the internet today and even though the FaceBook website is pretty easy and use, there are numerous desktop applications available that make using Facebook experience even more fun.

Here is a list of a few freeware applications that let you use your favorite Facebook features without the need to fire up your browser.

Facebook Chat Client

Chit Chat for Facebook is an excellent lightweight application that lets you chat with your Facebook friends right from your desktop eliminating the need of a web browser for the same purpose. Once you download and install it, login using your Facebook credentials and a messenger window will open up showing you a list of all your facebook contacts separated into Online and Offline groups. A tabbed message window lets you chat with multiple friends at once. Besides chatting, users can also update their status without leaving the application.

Unfortunately, Chit Chat for Facebook is available only for Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7. As an alternative, Digsby is a great application that runs on Windows, Linux and Mac OS. It lets you chat with your buddies on Facebook chat along with Yahoo IM, Google Talk, MSN and also gives you alerts for new emails, friend requests, upcoming birthdays etc.

Facebook Photo Uploader

Easy Photo Uploader is an application for Facebook that does exactly what it says. All you need to do is right click on the photo(s) and click on the “Send your photo(s) to Facebook option”.  First time users then need to setup their account with their Facebook user name and password. Once that is done, you get a list of all the existing albums to which you might want to upload the photo(s). New albums can also be created along with setting the privacy options. The application is less than 4MB in size and is a must have for all the frequent Facebook photo uploaders.

There are other free applications also available for the same purpose. Fotobounce is another similar application that lets you drag and drop photos to upload them to Facebook. It has automatic photo tagging and Flickr integration. Users can even create their own network of people which defines which photos are to be shared and with whom.

Facebook Photo Downloader

Social Photo Download is a web based application that lets you download photos of you and your friends. Using it is very simple as you just need to login with your Facebook username and password. A sidebar gives you options to choose your photos, your albums or your friends’ photos. Clicking on your album or photos option gives you choices to either download your entire selected albums or photos respectively. Friends’ photos option gives you a list of all your friends and you can either opt to download the selected albums/photos uploaded by them or all the photos in which your friend has been tagged.

Pick&Zip is another free web based application that lets you download photos from Facebook in zip or pdf format. Users can choose the photos or albums that they wish to download along with options such as downloading all the photos in which they’ve been tagged. Users need to sign in using their Facebook credentials before using to perform any of these operations.

Use Facebook Photos As Wallpapers

John’s Background Switcher is a free application that lets you set your own or your friends’ photos as your desktop wallpaper. A timer can be set to change the photos regularly. You can even opt to choose only the photos in which you have been tagged. To use the application all you need to do is click on the Add button and choose Facebook photos as the source. Users can then filter the photos to be chosen. A switching option below lets you set the time interval to change the wallpaper.

Do you use any desktop application for accessing certain features of Facebook or any other website ? Do you prefer desktop applications to web based applications ? Please let us know in the comments.

How to add Facebook chat to iChat on Mac OS X

iChat LogoFacebook is the social media giant that is showing no signs of stopping. Apart from being a regular social media website for people to interact with their friends (and strangers, in some cases), Facebook has also been trying to get into the instant messaging game which has till now been dominated by Google’s GTalk and Yahoo’s Messenger.

Even though GTalk is relatively new compared to Yahoo messenger, it has quickly become the favorite instant messaging client of a lot of people because of two main reasons, in my opinion. The first reason is that the GTalk client itself is extremely light and efficient and the second reason, and I think this is the major one, is that the GTalk protocol is based on open standards, which allows users to log in to google’s instant messaging network using many of the excellent free and open source clients available such as Pidgin, Adium and the like, and not depend only on Google’s official client which as of this writing is only available for Windows.

Facebook has also now taken a similar approach in their quest for IM domination. They have recently launched an XMPP compatible gateway for their chat protocol, which basically means that you can now connect to and chat with your facebook buddies via any IM client that supports XMPP including the friendly iChat.

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How to download an album from Facebook

FacebookFacebook is, by all accounts, the biggest photo sharing site on the planet. Millions of photos are added everyday to facebook and the number is only going to grow given the ridiculous growth that facebook is seeing.

The photos application is also one of the more social aspects of facebook and everyone loves to tag, comment and generally have fun with photos. 

All that is well and good, but what do you do if you want to download a complete album to your computer and view it offline. Facebook doesn’t provide  any tools to do that. Sure, you could save each photo individually but that’d take a long time and be really painful.

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