How to Tweak Facebook to Your Liking

Do you like the layout of your Facebook homepage? What about its color scheme? Or that the news ticker sidebar is pissing you off? Do you hide the chat box for good?

While Facebook is addictive, it can be annoying as well. Some of its feature like the news ticker, chat box etc. can be a great distraction and many important news are buried deep in the feed while junk message and spam keep finding their ways to your stream. Luckily, we don’t have to suffer in silence. Here are several browser extensions that you can use to tweak the behavior and theme of Facebook.

Social Fixer is a is a free browser extension for Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Opera (sorry, IE is not supported) that improves the Facebook site by eliminating annoyances and adding lots of great enhancements and functionality.

Once installed, Social Fixer will run you through a series of configuration options. You can get it to show a Post Action toolbar at the top of each news feed, a “Control Panel” at the top of the Facebook page, force the news feed to appear in chronological order and hide the “Top stories” entry.

fb-social-fixer-configuration

You can sort the news feed into their own tabs, depending on the application that your friends use to update their Facebook status.

fb-social-fixer-tabs

It even allows you to fix the chat behavior, by turning off the chat sidebar on the far right and restore the popup chat list, or if you prefer, hide the chat dock completely.

fb-social-fixer-fix-chat

The best thing about Social Fixer is that you can change the theme of your Facebook page so it looks different from others.

fb-social-fixer-themes

Social Fixer

FB Purity is available for both Chrome and Firefox browser and it helps you remove application spam and clutter from your Facebook homepage.

Unlike Social Fixer that runs you through a tutorial to configure the options, FB Purity options window is hidden inside Facebook and you will likely miss it unless you make conscious effort to find it.

Once you have installed FB Purity, go to Facebook and click on the “FB Purity” link at the top of the page. This will open up the option window.

fb-purity-options

From here, you can select which application, messages, notification, stories, event etc. to appear in your news feed. You can also set the font size and create a list of filter to block spam messages from showing up.

In addition, you can hide any of the boxes on the right sidebar. Under the “More Application” section, you can select which boxes can show up in your screen.

fb-purity-app-options

If you are capable of whipping up CSS code, FB Purity also allows you to define your own CSS rules to determine the look and feel of your Facebook page. I would appreciate if the developer can provide a set of pre-defined CSS rules so we just need to modify the value rather than having to code from scratch.

fb-purity-custom-css

FB Purity (Firefox extensions)
FB Purity (Chrome extensions)

Facetweak is a Firefox only extension that have a rather different set of configuration options from Social Fixer and FBPurity. Once installed, you will be able to configure whether to auto-login to Facebook when you visit the site, to make the header fixed so that it doesn’t move when you scroll down the page, to enable bigger photos, better album, Google Calendar integration etc.

fb-tweak-general-tab

Under the Social tab, you can configure whether to auto confirm friends requests (which I strongly discourage you to do), add a reply button to comments, highlight friends birthday on your home page and many more.

fb-tweak-social-tab

Lastly, FaceTweak comes with a number of themes that you can apply to your Facebook page.

fb-tweak-style-tab

FaceTweak

While the above mentioned three extensions allow you to modify the layout and behavior of Facebook, their functionalities are quite different from each other. Personally, I prefer the FaceTweak extension because it comes with auto-login and the fixed header feature which I need it most. Since I am using Firefox most of the time, it doesn’t really bother me of a lack of Chrome extension. However, if you are a die-hard Chrome fan, you probably want to go with Social Fixer or FBPurity. Let us know which one is your favorite, or if you are using any other way to tweak Facebook.