If you can’t stand Facebook’s hectic interface, you are not the only one. Luckily, there’s somebody who has done something about it by creating a Chrome extension called Minimalist for Facebook. As the name suggests, this extension will help Chrome users to hide unwanted elements from the Facebook homepage.
As with every other browser-based interface hack, changes from this extension are local. That means that any changes will only be visible on your computer and will not alter the real interface on Facebook’s servers.
Installing Minimalist for Facebook on Chrome is as simple as installing other extensions: click the “Install” button, then Chrome will download and install it automatically.
After the installation, the Minimalist for Facebook icon will appear in the address bar telling you that it’s ready. The icon will appear every time you are on a Facebook page.
The extension will do nothing if you make no changes in the Options page. To modify the settings, open the Options page by clicking the address bar icon and choosing “Options“. To quickly activate/deactivate the extension click the “Toggle on/off” button. The “PANIC!” button will refresh the page to the latest applied settings.
The Minimalist for Facebook options page consists of two panes: the menus on the left and the settings on the right.
There are many elements of the Facebook page that you can modify. For example, the “General” page deals with things like icons, footers, and CSS.
While the “Theme” page mainly deals with layout and colors.
To get more information about what a menu will do, hover your mouse over the highest item on the page, and you will be shown an image of the modified item. For example, the “Toolbar” menu is the bar at the top of the page where the Facebook logo lies.
Other than modifying the elements within the toolbar, this menu also allows users to make the toolbar float and always visible on top even when the page is being scrolled down.
The “Navigation” is the sidebar on the left of the page where your profile photo resides.
Don’t confuse the “Navigation” with “Sidebar” because the one that is called the sidebar is the bar on the right.
Aside from modifying the menu, Minimalist for Facebook also gives you additional features such as the ability to “Show full timestamps” and to “Show photo zoom on hover“. The latter feature will pop up the full size image of the picture you are hovering your mouse pointer over.
Import, Export & Reset
I think one of the most important features of this extension is the ability to import and export your settings from one Chrome browser to another. So if you use more than one computer, you don’t have to go through the settings over and over again.
All that you have to do is:
- go to the “Import/Export” menu
- click the “Export” button
- copy the text from the settings field
- go to the “Import/Export” menu on the other Chrome browser
- paste the text into the setting field
- click “Import“
To make your job easier, you could save the text in your Dropbox folder and it will be always available on another computer.
Another nice feature are the “Presets“. The buttons here will help you minimize your Facebook interface in one click, without having to go through all the settings. You could also save up to three custom settings that you’ve made.
If something goes wrong, or if you want to start afresh, you can press the “Reset All” button and everything will go back to the original settings.
To give you a clearer picture of what this extension can do, let’s do a comparison. Here is the Facebook interface without any tweaking.
And here’s the interface after deactivating some elements.
Even though you might not be one of those people who needs or wants to ‘minimalise’ your Facebook interface, you might still want to try the extension to get the additional features like the floating toolbar, full timestamps, and photo zoom. So try it out and tell us what you think. If you know and use any other Facebook enhancements, don’t forget to share your knowledge in the comments below.