Thursday, April 21, 2011

How to make Facebook better: Addons

If you Google Facebook addons or greasemonkey scripts, you'll get a nice list of various things. The problem is that most of those are either not updated often enough (Facebook is constantly recoding their site and addon/script developers have to be on top of it nearly 24/7) or only provide functions for kids. An example is this script, which auto likes everything in one fell swoop. Um... okay... Only kids would do that, I think. Can you imagine if you didn't read "My [insert family relationship here] died last night" and liking that post without even saying anything?

I posted not too long ago about not being able to find an addon that would do what I wanted it to do, and I still stand by that. However, I did find something that almost does everything I want it to do and so I want to share it. What's great about it is that not only does it work for Firefox and Chrome, but also for Opera and Safari. Sorry IE users, you're SOL on that one and I would recommend ditching IE. It stinks!

The addon is called Better Facebook (BFB) and it has so many enhancements for Facebook (FB), that I could hardly list them all in one post. If you go back and read my post, you'll discover that BFB actually only fixes one of my complaints, that being #2. Well okay perhaps partially #4, but not fully.

Even if it doesn't address my four main issues, I love BFB and find that the other annoyances no longer matter as much. It has advanced filtration of your feed. It's really quite powerful and if I want to get nitty gritty, it could actually fulfill #4 almost 100%.

Still though, my #1 favorite thing BFB does is this:
Hide Posts You've Already Read

If you have many friends, your feed can be fast-moving and overwhelming. Each time you visit, you have to scan your feed to see which stories are new and which ones you've already read. Better Facebook gives you the ability to mark posts as "read" - either individually or everything on the page - and they will be hidden next time you visit! Only new stories will be shown by default. But with the next feature, it gets even better...
That alone makes it worth its weight in gold. Now when I check back, I don't have to see all the same posts to figure out what's new. It is just amazing.

If that doesn't win you over, perhaps the following will. Below is a list of favored features. It doesn't list them all, just favorite features by users.

  • Tabbed news feeds
  • Advanced feed filters
  • Hide read posts
  • Highlight new comments
  • Static header bar
  • Friend tracker (unfriending notices)
  • Expand similar posts
  • Custom CSS
  • Facebook themes
  • Remove recent activity from profile page
  • Display full images when hovering
  • Disable lightbox (I hate that thing)
  • Force "most recent" rather than "top news"
  • Fix "enter" key behavior
  • Adds reply link to comments
  • Float reply box up to the comment
  • Stretch layout to full screen width
  • Hide "people you may know"
  • Adds a character countdown for character limits

That, ladies and gentlemen, are only a few of the enhancements. No kidding! I cannot stress enough how much I love this thing.

No comments: