PSA – Facebook Messenger App has Scary Terms of Service

Okay I know this subject doesn’t really concern becoming or being an artist but nevertheless Facebook has become integral in to being an artist these days. From communicating with potential clients to just talking with other artists I find myself on it almost every day. It’s actually one of the ways our team at Once Upon a Sketch stays in contact. We have a Group discussion where we keep everyone up-to-date and when we are just communicating person-to-person we use Facebook messaging. Which brings me to why I’m writing this post. Like most of you I probably use Facebook mostly on my phone and just a little while ago the Facebook app required me to install a additional app called Facebook Messenger if I wanted to continue messaging. Some people might say well Facebook just spent $19 billion to buy a company called What’s App. Facebook must just want to get their moneys worth. This statement may be true but there seems to be a lot more going on if you dig into the terms of service accompanying this application. You may have already read about this somewhere else on the Internet but it needs to be reiterated since Facebook has now made this application required to use their messaging service. Here are a few of the permissions you will be giving up if you use the new Facebook messaging app. These are word for word from the Facebook messaging app terms of service.


“Allows the app to read data about your contacts stored on your phone, including the frequency with which you’ve called, emailed, or communicated in other ways with specific individuals.”
“Allows the app to access the phone features of the device. This permission allows the app to determine the phone number and device IDs, whether a call is active, and the remote number connected by a call.”
“Allows the app to get a list of accounts known by the phone. This may include any accounts created by applications you have installed.”
“Allows the app to call phone numbers without your intervention. This may result in unexpected charges or calls. Malicious apps may cost you money by making calls without your confirmation.”
“Allows the app to record audio with microphone. This permission allows the app to record audio at any time without your confirmation.”
“Allows the app to take pictures and videos with the camera. This permission allows the app to use the camera at any time without your confirmation.”

The list continues but this is just a handful of the choice quotes from the terms of service floating around the Internet these days. It’s worth pointing out that while these terms sound awful a lot of the permissions wording is taken straight from Android’s terms. FaceBook maybe just following the Android wording, just a bit of speculation to give Facebook some credit. Also, Apple iOS only asks for these permissions when a user tries to access one of these functions such as microphone access only being requested when a video/voice call happens. It still sounds like pretty scary permissions to give any app or company in my opinion. Especially a company who makes their money by learning everything they can about their users.

I had a friend over for dinner just the other day and she had unknowingly downloaded this app when her regular Facebook app prompted her to. I’m sure she blindly agreed to the terms of service like everyone does and didn’t even think about what she had agreed to. It so easy to do. It feels like you can’t do anything on the Internet these days without agreeing to something. So if your one of the one billion people who have downloaded this app please be careful. It may be nice to use a free application that lets you stay in contact with your friends but please remember the things you’re giving up by using it.

Source – Huffington Post

About the author

  • Norm GrockNORM GROCKContributor, Founder

    Having grown up on the shores of Maui, Hawaii, Norm has always had a love for drawing. Since leaving the Islands’ beautiful beaches and landing in Oregon he went to college and received a degree in graphic design. Now living in Beaverton, Oregon, Norm has been working as a full-time graphic designer and illustrator for the last 12 years. He has spent countless hours perfecting his craft as a freelance illustrator working on several children’s books, a few video games and creating numerous educational products. His ability to draw has given him the chance to do the thing he truly loves — Create.

Finding Artists Groups on Facebook

A great way to spread your work around Facebook is by joining like-minded groups. Groups let you share things with the people who will care about them most. For artists it’s usually their artwork and news about the industry. Let’s look into how to join groups and then how to share with them.


First Sign into Facebook. Go to Facebook and sign in. Once you’re signed in at the very top of the page is a blue bar that says “Search for people, places and things” begin typing and a list of groups/pages will begin to pop up. For this example I typed in “illustration”.


If a group pops up that you like click on it or at the bottom of the results you will see an area that says “see more results for (keyword)”. Once you’ve found a group you like the look of navigate to their page. On their page click the “Join Group” button at the top of the page by their group’s name. If successful the text in the button you clicked should have changed to “joined” or “Cancel Request”. If it comes back with “Cancel Request” this just means the administrator needs to approve you before you can join the group. Once you’re a part of the group you can now post things to the group’s wall. To do this, go to their wall then at the top of the page you will see the group’s cover image and just under that is the name of the group followed by About and Photos.


Now if you’ve got something to share with the group just below that you should be able to enter what you’re excited about. Then you can type in your news and press the Share button. Everyone in the group that has liked that page and everyone that views that group will be able to see it. You can also add Pictures, Videos and Web Links onto group’s walls. It’s a great way to spread the word about your latest project, a new blog post, or just what you’ve been up to. Remember to keep it related to what the group is about.

If you’ve got any suggestions for Facebook groups people should join please leave them in the comments below and let us know what you thought of this post.

Improving Your Facebook FanPage


Once you’ve set up your Facebook fan page you might think you’re done but there’s still a lot more work to do. You may get a few Likes at first but the goal here is to continue gaining momentum and continuing to spread the word.


Spreading the word
Now that your fan page is set up Facebook walks you through a few steps. First thing Facebook Highlights is the “Like” button. Liking your fan page shares the “Like” with your other Facebook account’s timeline. Which starts the process of building support for your fan page. It spreads the word to all of your other accounts friends. Another option Facebook gives you is emailing your friends to let them know about your new fan page. Whichever way you like to spread the word, do it. Sadly, for most of us the only people that will spread the word for you is you and your mom, so it’s on you to spread the word about your art. Don’t forget to add a Facebook like button on your blog and webpage. Join art related Facebook groups and share your page with them. And finally, “Like” other artist’s fan pages. You never know they may like you back.


Paying Facebook to spread the word for you
Facebook does offer a service that for a fee they will get viewers to your page by advertising your posts or your page. When you run your ad or sponsored story on Facebook, they only charge you for the number of clicks you receive. When I set up my fan page I was shown a drop-down with 4 pricing options. Each were on a per day basis and ranged from $5 to $20 a day. The amount that you pay will never be more than your daily or lifetime budget and there are no additional fees associated with running ads or sponsored stories on Facebook. The larger your budget, the more people a campaign is likely to reach. Personally as an artist my budget for advertising is very low so I did not choose any of these options. I certainly don’t want to dissuade anyone from using this service so if you’re interested this option can be found in the admin panel which we will talk about in a little bit.


Cover Image
Next, I created a cover image in PhotoShop and uploaded it. I would suggest creating an image that highlights some of your work and says what the page is about. Once you’ve created this image or just want to move forward with an existing image click the “Add a cover” button found in the lower right-hand corner where the cover page image will appear. Now click on “Upload Photo.” Upload the banner image you’ve selected. Adjust the image’s placement and click save changes. Wilson Wiliams made a wonderful template for the cover photo showing you the live area. Check it out. Continue reading

Fix Missing Images from Post on Facebook

On OnceUponASketch we are constantly posting our articles and posts to Facebook and any other number of social networks. When you post a link on Facebook it usually goes to the link and finds images that it then gives you the option of displaying in association with your post. Sometimes when we post to Facebook we have a problem getting the images associated with an article to show up. Also at times the link seems to be broken and won’t connect though the link is correct. Here is how you fix that!

The Facebook Debugger!


To use the Facebook Debugger you simply follow the above link.

Enter the link to your post and the debugger will search it out.


After it searches your link it will deliver back to you information on what it finds.

It will also list possible reasons the link may not work and things you may need to fix. However, generally just entering your link into the debugger is sufficient to correct the reasons that your link isn’t displaying properly.


Debugging the link usually fixes the issues Facebook may be having with it. After debugging you simply need to try posting the link again to Facebook. If it still doesn’t work then the information returned after debugging may prove useful in troubleshooting the problem. Enjoy!

5 Steps to Setting up a Facebook Fan Page


This week on Once Upon a Sketch we are going to talk about setting up a Facebook fan page. Wilson and I recently both set up fan pages and we’re going to share everything we learned with you. It’s not a difficult process but it’s always nice to have someone to help you through it. Here we go.


1. Log into Facebook. If you don’t already have an account you’ll need to create one to make a fan page.


2. Once you’re logged in, click on the gear in the top right corner of your page. Now click “Advertising.”

fbfp0013. Then you should be on a page titled “Advertise on Facebook”. Below this title you should see three steps. The one you’re looking for is “Step 1: Build your Facebook Page”. In the text under step one you will find a link that says “Create a Page”. Click on that link. Continue reading