How To: Facebook Better Using Google Chrome

Facebook Better Using Google Chrome

With over a billion monthly active users, it seems that Facebook is nowhere close to being dethroned as the most popular social media service in the world (sorry, Ello). While their stats may be impressive, it doesn't mean that Facebook is as good as it can be.

Complaints about messy timelines, useless features, and an abundance of ads are just a few of the annoyances about the service. Luckily, if you use the Google Chrome browser, there are extensions that can make Facebook better than ever before, and here are our 6 favorite ones.

#1: Use Facebook Without Going to Facebook

While it isn't official, Facebook for Chrome is a must-have extension. Instead of going to Facebook's website, you can receive notifications, post status updates and links, comment, and more through a popup window accessible from anywhere in your browser.

Just tap on the Facebook icon in the toolbar to the right of the address bar (aka omnibox). A small window will appear, where you can scroll through your timeline, as well as search for friends and like and comment on posts.

On the right side of the popup window, you'll see several other icons which you can use to view your News Feed, check out photos, see your notifications, go through your messages, and even post an update.

#2: Send Facebook Messages from Chrome

If Facebook Messenger is the aspect of the social media site that you use the most, then this extension of the same name might be better catered to your needs.

Click on the toolbar icon and a small window will appear, where you can go through your Facebook messages. Functionality is the same as is through the official website—you can send emojis and stickers, attach photos, and of course, send messages.

You can also toggle notifications and sounds, as well as change the size of the messenger window from small to large, all by right-clicking on the icon and going to "Options."

#3: Customize the Crap Out of Facebook

Facebook's aesthetics are nothing to write home about, but with Social Fixer, you can go nuts tricking out the interface with features that you probably never knew you wanted.

Everything from News Feed tabs to advanced feed filters and themes make it so that you have a brand new Facebook experience with new and extremely useful features.

You can get image previews (by hovering your mouse over a picture) and force the News Feed to switch to "Recent Stories First."

You can even do things like change the font size, force the Enter key to insert a line break, show GIFs as animated, hide and lock headers and menus, and much, much more. Check out Social Fixer's website to see more of the features available.

#4: Hover Over Images to Enlarge Them

Similar to the image preview feature in Social Fixer, Photo Zoom for Facebook (which we've covered before) allows you to hover over an image and get a larger image preview that hovers over Facebook and follows your cursor.

But unlike Social Fixer, Photo Zoom's image preview feature works not only with posted pictures, but also profile images, and even links that have pictures—basically, anything with a picture (even ads).

#5: Block Facebook Ads & Other Annoyances

While Facebook attempts to keep ads to a minimum, they're still pretty annoying. Facebook Customizer (by Adblock Plus) can easily block all of the advertisements from the side of your Facebook feed. Below you can see a comparison of Facebook with ads (left) and with the extension enabled (right). Much cleaner right?

Facebook Customizer also gives you the option to remove some of Facebook's other annoyances, such as "Music Pages You May Like," "Suggest Friends," "Nearby Places," and 18 other items you can remove from your timeline. Good riddance.

#6: Stop Facebook from Tracking You

When you visit any of the more than 13 million websites that work with Facebook Connect—the service that allows you to log into sites using your Facebook credentials—Facebook gets notified and then tracks this information. Facebook Disconnect (which has been around for awhile) allows you to continue using Facebook, but blocks this information from getting to Facebook from third-party sites.

Just install the extension and you're ready to go—no more stalking on Facebook's behalf.

The Best of the Rest

There are hundreds of extensions that revolve around Facebook in the Chrome Web Store, although most aren't polished apps or kept up-to-date. So while many are not up-to-snuff, there are definitely a few that deserve an honorable mention.

Are there any other Chrome extensions for Facebook that you use? Let us know in the comments below.

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