Bending Facebook to Your Needs, Whims and Preferences

Bending Facebook to Your Needs, Whims and Preferences

Gregory Han
Sep 22, 2011

Facebook always seems to be pushing the bounds of patience amongst its users, with Wednesday's interface update igniting a rash of "bring back the old Facebook" rants across social media networks (if you don't know what we're talking about, we're assuming you've either got amazingly patient friends or have been away on vacation without internet). In many ways Facebook has replaced phone calls, emails and even instant messaging, so messing around too much with the familiar can be like playing with fire. But that doesn't mean we've got to take what ole Zuckerberg decides is best for us. Armed with a few browser extensions, Facebook is more malleable than you realize...

Chrome Facebook Extensions:
Minimalist for Facebook: want to strip Facebook down to its skivvies? This extension individually hides nearly 50 interface elements throughout Facebook's navigation (farewell sidebar ads!), including the toolbar, sidebar and main feed. Customize background and accents colors, with a Minimalist stylesheet coming soon.

Facebook Disconnect: Don't want Facebook up all in your business? Facebook is notified whenever you visit one of the more than one million sites on the web that use Facebook Connect...not good considering their track record about leaking personal info to 3rd parties for commercial use. Facebook Disconnect blocks all traffic from third-party sites to Facebook servers, but still lets you access Facebook itself.

Kill Facebook Questions: Not a fan of polls? Facebook Questions ruffle your feathers every time you see "Which Glee Character Are You?". Although this extension promises to "kill" Facebook Questions, it actually just quietly hides them away, which is good enough for us.

Safari Facebook Extensions:
Better Facebook: as the name implies this Safari extension permits a bit of under the hood tinkering. Notable features include tabbed news feeds, customizable themes/skins, feed filtering, remove "recent activities" from your profile, thumbnail enlarging via hovering, new comment highlighting and character counter which brings the Facebook experience that much closer to using Twitter. This extension is also available for Chrome, Firefox, Opera and Greasemonkey (sorry IE users).

Facebook Photo Zoom: those small thumbnail profile images got you squinting, making you unsure whether you've finally stalked reunited with your high school crush, or just found someone who looks kinda like him/her? Install this extension and image zooming is just one mouse hover away.

FacebookBlocker: use this extension to eliminate "Like" buttons, "Recommended" lists, and "Most Popular on Facebook" content on sites other than Facebook itself. It even prevents Facebook content within iframes from appearing. Also available for Chrome, Opera, and Firefox.

Firefox Facebook Extensions:

F.B. Purity: here's how to prevent your Facebook page from venturing back to the days of Myspace era page overload...or make it disturbingly similar using the CSS customization option.

HugBack for Facebook: an extension that just toes the line between funny and annoying, HugBack changes all "poking" to "hugging". We like to use this while saying, "Hey Hermano~"

Facebook Toolbar: This one doesn't so much change your Facebook page, but instead adds an element of Facebook into your browser so you won't even need to visit your Facebook page. Once installed, Firefox users can search their Facebook page even when the site isn't opened, integrate notifications, alongside share/upload content. But it might be worth trying out the Rockmelt browser if you're looking for an even better Facebook integrated experience.

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