If you use Facebook (and most of you do), you know that Facebook likes to display their pages the way they want. They don’t really care much what the users think. How many times have you seen friends post something like “I HATE the new Facebook layout!”. Well, I’m happy to tell you that you are now able to have some control over how Facebook works and what it looks like on your computer.
Some of you may already be aware of this and using it, but I just discovered Social Fixer (free at SocialFixer.com) recently. I really LOVE being able to customize Facebook to look the way I want it to.
I’ll say right up front – the five tricks I will tell you about here just barely scratch the surface of what Social Fixer can do. There is a LOT to this plugin. These are just the five that I like the best.
1. Get notified when someone un-friends you
You read that correctly. Social Fixer monitors your friends list, and when one of them is no longer listed as your friend, you get a notification in the right sidebar of your Facebook page. For me, I have had a few times when I went to look someone up on Facebook and was surprised to see that I was not friends with that person. In some cases, I wonder if I am not remembering correctly (“Was I actually friends with him/her before?”). Now you don’t have to wonder – you will get an immediate notification. I set up Social Fixer and within a few days I got one. It looks like this:
(And in case you’re wondering, Kaylee and I didn’t have a big fight. She was actually one of the contestants on The Biggest Loser a few seasons ago, and apparently now she has closed her Facebook account.)
2. Fix the Enter key behavior
When you’re leaving a comment, one of the most annoying things is when the Enter key doesn’t do what you want it to do. For example, if you are typing away and you want to have a space and start a new paragraph. Normally, you would just hit Enter a time or two to create some space between your thoughts, like in a Word document. Not on Facebook though! Your Facebook is probably set so that when you hit Enter, that’s the same as clicking the “Post” button – so your comment gets posted before you have typed all that you have to say.
With Social Fixer, you can hit Enter all you want, and it will create those paragraph breaks that you’re looking for. To actually submit the comment when it’s all ready, you just hit Tab + Enter. And there is always that little reminder below the Comments box to remind you of that. Don’t want to have it that way? Just uncheck the box.
3. Show full size image previews with no clicking
I like this because it’s a time-saver. When you are scrolling down your news feed, you might see several friends that have posted pictures. If you are REALLY interested, you can click the picture to see it full size – it opens up in a new window. Then you have to close the window to get back to the news feed.
With the Social Fixer plugin in place, all you do is move your cursor over an image, and a full-size version of that image pops up. When you’re done looking at it, just move your cursor away. So you’ve just viewed that image without a single click.
I will admit this might annoy some people, since as you go down the news feed you might inadvertently mouse over an image and suddenly there is a full-size version there that you didn’t really intend to look at more closely. If you find that to be happening more than you want, you can just turn off this feature.
4. Display the Timeline in a single column
This is something that Facebook changed a while back. It used to be that when you looked at someone’s Timeline (formerly called their Wall), all of their posts, etc. were shown in a single column, chronologically. So you could scroll down and see whatever you wanted to see, and it made it easy to find whatever you were looking for.
Then Facebook decided to make this a 2-column display, and now it seems like there are things all over the place. From what I can see, it’s no longer strictly chronological. It seems like different things are tossed around in different places and it’s more difficult to find any particular post.
Social Fixer gives you the option to get back to old single-column display that Facebook used to show. A lot of people will find this easier on the eyes and easier to use.
5. Make Facebook go dark
By default, Facebook’s page has a light-colored background. Some of it is white, and some is a very light blue. I have no problem reading this, but some people might prefer a black background with light-colored text. This also might be handy if you’re browsing Facebook in bed, and you don’t want a bright screen that lights up the room. There are LOTS of other colors and themes available too.
Some other interesting Facebook tricks you can do with Social Fixer:
- Hide all the posts you’ve already read (instead of scrolling through the same ones over and over)
- Categorize the posts in your news feed and organize them into separate tabs
- Lots more links in the left sidebar (pages, photos, events, etc.)
Getting Social Fixer installed is easy. It works with most web browsers (but not Internet Explorer). Just go to the website (SocialFixer.com) and choose the web browser you want to use:
Once it’s installed, just go to Facebook and you can start customizing. All of the settings can be accessed by clicking on the little wrench at the top right corner, then choose “Edit Social Fixer options”.
Here is the Settings front page categories, to give you an idea of the possibilities:
One more note: Facebook really prefers that you just look at their pages the way THEY want you to see them. That’s fine, they can keep wishing that. By using Social Fixer, you aren’t “hacking” Facebook’s content or violating their terms of service. The only changes you are doing are in YOUR web browser, which is installed on YOUR computer. Facebook has no say in that matter (and in fact they don’t even know about the customizations you have made).
Now go make Facebook do what you want it to do!