A handy guide for cleaning up the new Facebook mess; get rid of unsightly tickers and ads, hide posts you’ve already read, or simply customize your Facebook with different themes, colors, and styles.
It may seem like an eternity now, but it’s only been a few weeks since Facebook honcho Mark Zuckerberg rolled out a dizzying array of new changes to user home pages.
To the chagrin of many it added what’s been derisively referred to as a “Facebook within your Facebook,” an annoying right-panel ticker that lists what your friends are doing while you’re ostensibly reading about what they’re doing.
Added to that are the odd new “Top Story,” “Recent,” and “From Earlier Today” feed post headlines, and the usual suspects of ads, ads, and more ads.
It’s all reached a point that many looking for a way to clean Facebook up once and for all, and return to the quiet days of a simple news feed and uncluttered home page. Life is already complicated enough, and who wants to waste time sorting through unnecessary layers of Facebook clutter?
I’ve taken the time to detail a few easy methods for cleaning up the new Facebook format and customizing it to a layout and design that best sets your needs, and not those of Zuckerberg and Facebook HQ.
This is the easiest method, but also the most limited in scope and availability. It’s a Chrome browser extension-only option that changes the fixed home page header, and more importantly, eliminates the real-time ticker updates.
It doesn’t do much, but for some getting rid of the ticker update is plenty.
Many of you, hopefully anyways, should already have this extension installed. Available for all browsers (Firefox, Safari, Chrome, IE, Opera), the extension is a customizable tool for blocking ads that can be throttled up or down on individual web pages.
It’s also useful for blocking unwanted panels and text, and that’s where it comes in as a handy option for fixing Facebook without having to install additional extensions.
How to does it work? First right-click where it says “Ticker” and scroll down to “Adblock > Block this Ad.” Now when the Adblock dialog box appears scroll it to the left until it blocks “fbFeedTicker” and you can visually see it disappear. Select “Looks Good” to finish.
This can be repeated for other elements of Facebook pages you would also like to see cleaned up like ads, banners, sponsors, friend recommendations – you name it.
This browser extension has become my new best friend. Avaialble for Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Opera (sorry IE users) this is the Swiss Army knife of Facebook cleanup tools.
This is one that enables you to truly turn back the clock on Facebook changes, and to perhaps go so far as to totally redesign the layout as you see fit.
First off lets hide the Ticker feed as promised. Simply go to the home page and select which boxes or columns you want to disappear. You can also permanently disable the live ticker feed by checking the box under “Layout” in the “Options” tab.
While on the home page you’ll notice the appearance of 4 new boxes added to to the upper right-hand portion of each post. They are post info, “Google It!,” and two variations of “Mark Read.” One variation mutes a post permanently, and the other just until or unless another person posts a comment. This is extremely useful to avoid accidentally rereading old posts, or simply to remove posts you have no interest in hearing more of.
Now if you visit the “Options” tab on the top right-hand side of the screen you’ll notice there’s a whole range of additional choices available. You can customize your home page by adding “Useful Links,” hide content, auto-expand certain types of posts, or add a Friend Tracker similar to “Unfriend Finder” that notifies you when people add or defriend you.
The “Theme” tab lets you change the style, layout, and color of your Facebook pages. There are a number of different layout styles to choose from (I find “desktop” style to be the best).
In the “Filtering” section you can create news filter tabs based on author, type of post (literally any, such as “likes,” status updates, tags), application, or other (use of specific keywords or characters, such as “football” or an exclamation point). It’s useful if you have a lot of friends or pages in your feed and want an additional method of sorting through the clutter.
As I said, there’s a slew of additional options available to create a “Better Facebook,” and I think you’ll find that life without this add-on is pretty unbearable in light of the new and “improved” Facebook.
With Facebook Timeline and a slew of other changes in the works, using Better Facebook might just allow you to keep your sanity and from having to cross over into the lonely abyss of Google+.