5 Essential Facebook Tools You Can’t Do Without

Once you fall into the Facebook vortex of doom that consists of games, applications and those all so important messages you will find it impossible to escape its clutches and separate the wheat from the chaff of the best status updates and application posts without a little help from a buddy like me.The Facebook f Logo

Whether you are scouting to grab the latest FarmVille foals, looking for your best friend’s latest embarrassment so you can make witty one liners under it or whether you are secretly watching to see which friend has shacked up with your ex, there are browser plugins that can help you make sense of your Facebook news feed, spy on the posts and the people you really care about, mass accept application requests and much, much more. So if you ever find yourself asking questions like these:

  • How do I sort my news feed to  show specific application requests?
  • How do I hide the Facebook notification pop ups?
  • Is it possible to mass accept Facebook requests?
  • Can I bulk add game neighbors?
  • Can I filter my news feed to show posts from specific friends?
  • How do I stop Facebook telling everybody whose wall I’ve just written on?

Read on and prepare to be startled. You have found your oracle at JournalXtra. The answers to those questions and more are found below. These epitomes of awesomeness are absolutely free!

The 5 Essential Facebook Tools You Can’t Do Without

Most of these browser scripts require Greasemonkey to be installed for them to work within Firefox and work natively within Google Chrome. Click the titles or download links to be taken to each plugin’s installation and information page in a new tab.

Many of these scripts work better with Facebook URL cleaner installed. So grab it here before installing them.

Social Fixer

This is the big daddy of all Facebook browser productivity plugins. Seventy five is a frighteningly huge number of options for a browser plugin but worry not, Better Facebook’s clean setup wizard pops up when you first use it and will soon take you through the most important five. So what does this awesome product do:

  • Tabulates your news feed so status updates remain in your home tab and application posts are grouped by type under separate tabs within your Facebook page.
  • Lets you filter your feed for posts by specific people. Perfect for spying on your Facebook friends.
  • Auto clicks the “more” button at the bottom of your homepage.
  • Auto removes your recent activity trail to prevent friends seeing whose wall you have just written on.
  • Adds a character counter to your “status” box so you know how  many characters you have left for your update.
  • Theming. Yes, you can theme Facebook to look how you want it. Several themes are included with the plugin. You can add your own HTML and  CSS if you wish.
  • Hides the new comment notifications so you receive fewer pop ups while reading your updates and playing games.
  • And much, much more…

All 75 tweaks may be turned on or off at will. Visit Social Fixer to learn more.

A good security advantage of using Better Facebook is a side effect of application posts being organized by an application’s ID to Facebook. Phishing, non-official and advertorial posts that masquerade as genuine posts from an application’s maker fail to be sorted under the application’s filter tab. For example, FarmVille posts are listed under the filter tab “Farmville” but the pseudo FarmVille posts — which invariably require a questionnaire to be completed for the chance to win or earn FarmVille cash or rare animals — remain in the “Home” tab.

Compatibility: Chromium, Firefox, Opera, Safari, Greasemonkey

Download

Facebook APR (Application Post Remover)

Worried about someone seeing how productive your farm is, how well kept your frontier is or how many iced bodies litter your wall from mafia hits? Are you beginning to look like a slacker?

Use APR to scan your entire wall history to auto remove unwanted application posts. I had over 16,000 wall posts from 6 months of game playing (ahum! I mean testing). This browser script removed every single one of them.

Easy to use. Install it, visit your profile page, click “Account” at the top right of your Facebook menu, select “Configure APR”, tell it which  application posts to remove then click “APR” at the top right of your menu (next to account). Be sure your profile page is fully loaded before you run it.

Note:

Better Facebook must be deactivated for this plugin to work.

Be cautious!

Old status updates and wall posts that were not posted by applications will be visible once the application posts have been automatically deleted. Set APR to remove posts older than 24 hours then check over your manually added old posts for deletion before instructing APR to delete the remaining recent application posts. You might want to leave a few recent posts visible so new friends can see that your account is active.

Compatibility: Chromium, Firefox (Greasemonkey), Opera 11

Download

Friendly Gaming Simplifier (FGS)

UPDATE 6th Jan. 2012: Facebook forced FGS offline with a cease and desist notice sent to the developer ‘Flies’.

UPDATE 15th Jan. 2012: This can still be downloaded from Google code

One excellent gaming plugin. Forget all the other feed readers. FGS reads your news feed for posts from any of 28 games. It covers all Zynga games such as Mafia Wars and FarmVille as well as games produced by other developers.

Unlike other news feed readers, FGS provides a realtime graphical overview of all game requests and separates them by application for easy looting. It is really simple to use:

  • Visit the Options page
  • Select the games whose posts you wish FGS to display
  • Configure a few game options
  • Click the game’s icon at the top of the FGS page to view its posts
  • Collect gifts and respond to requests by either click them one-by one or right-clicking and selecting “Collect All”.

Here is an overview of some of its amazing functionality and options:

  • Opens in a separate tab as a game posts filter.
  • Posts are grouped by game.
  • Mass accepts gifts.
  • Bulk or singularly collects application requests from your feed.
  • Automatically returns gifts on items taken from your news feed and from requests accepted through FGS.
  • Makes playmate finding a cinch by (optionally) listing FGS users who are looking for playmates in a neighbor finding list per  game.
  • Auto likes and hides posts.

This plugin is in continual development so expect more from it in the future.

I highly recommend you accept gifts in game then with Friendly Gaming Simplifier then with either Mass Accept gifts or Facebook Invites.

Compatibility: Chromium, Firefox 4 (Greasemonkey)

Download

Facebook Mass Accept Requests

An easy to use plugin which lets you accept all your gift requests with as few as one click instead of hundreds of clicks. Once installed, go to the facebook.com/reqs.php page to collect your gifts.

Mass Accept Gifts places a checkbox beside each gift and 4 buttons to the bottom left of the window (Check All, Uncheck All, Mass Accept and Options). Be sure to click the options button before collecting gifts to instruct it to automatically return thank you gifts.

This plugin also places a copyable link next to each request which can be used to accept gifts multiple times if an application permits it. I use this link to accept requests that typically fail to fully load so I can retry to accept them if needed.

For those who want to mass delete Facebook application requests, Facebook Ignore All Requests will do the trick.

I highly recommend you accept gifts in game then with Friendly Gaming Simplifier then with either Mass Accept gifts or Facebook Invites.

Occasionally, the plugin will fail to work properly when Crime City requests are awaiting collection. The failure shows by the missing presence of  checkboxes beside requests. So, if you get no checkboxes displaying, either delete or accept any Crime City requests manually then refresh the requests page.

Compatibility: Chromium, Firefox (Greasemonkey)

Download

Your Facebook Request Page

Facebook Invites and Facebook Games Quick Invite

Ever visited a game neighbor recruitment page or any other page on Facebook and wanted to quickly invite all the posters to the page to be your friend?

Or, while using an application that lets you send neighbor requests to people in your friends list, have you wondered whether there is an easy way to recruit only those friends who already use the application?

Facebook Invites works on wall and profile pages by putting an invite dialog box above any page with profile links on it (the name link next to a post). Use the buttons provided to automatically mass invite all people posting on the page to be your Facebook friends .

Facebook Games Quick Invite lets you quickly invite friends listed on a game’s recruitment page to neighbor with you in that game. It can filter the friends listed by the game so that only those who already play the game are listed. This plugin Requires Facebook Invites to be installed.

There is a bonus with the Facebook Invites plugin. When you visit your gift request page at facebook.com/reqs.php, it will present you with buttons for quickly accepting application requests in bulk. I do not know whether it returns thank you gifts but I doubt it does. I highly recommend you accept gifts in game then with Friendly Gaming Simplifier then with either Mass Accept gifts or Facebook Invites.

Compatibility: Firefox (Greasemonkey)

Download Facbook Invites

Download Quick Invite

Bonus Tool: The Auto Clicker

Auto clickers are very useful for performing repetitive button clicks. I use one for accepting gift items in my FarmVille gift box when I have lots of a single item to utilize. They are incredibly easy to use:

  1. Set the timing between clicks
  2. Set the number of clicks to make
  3. Click “start” or “go”
  4. Place the mouse cursor over the button that is to be repetitively clicked, then
  5. Walk away and have dinner, read a steamy book, make a hot drink or find someone to smooch with while it toils away.

Linux users will find an auto clicker in their preferred package manager. Any auto clicker will work.

Windows, Mac, Linux and other OS users can download a free auto clicker from SourceForge.net. Windows user may also download them from SNA Software.

What? Not Enough? You Need More!?

Satisfy your hunger for productivity tools, plugins and bookmarklets by feasting on the goodies available from any of these sites:

Userscripts.org (Chrome and Firefox)

Marklets.com (all browsers)

Chrome Web Store

Firefox Add-Ons

Opera Addons

Your Facebook experience will be much more pleasant once you have the above tools installed into your browser.

Security Note

There is always a potential security risk in adding new software to your computer. Whether it be a browser plugin or a full software installation, be prudent. I use two browsers for gaming specifically and one specific browser for anything important like online banking. The browser I use for banking has no more scripts installed in it than are necessary for it to function as a basic and secure browser. Some people use a Linux LiveCD to ensure their online security when performing vulnerable tasks. Please be careful when adding scripts to your computer and browsers.

Comments

  1. dragonqt18 says

    the mass accept also worked for frontierville, thank you so much it gets to be a hassle to accept and then reload the page if the zynga gift acceptor has already accepted it, thanks again for such a wonderful addon

    • says

      It works well for most games and applications. I know the script’s author says it has problems with Mafia Wars and one or two others but it works well enough for me. As long as it accepts them and clears them, I’m happy.

  2. Coachsuzanne says

    I have disabled social fixer on my FB account and now would like to remove it completely, but cannot find it to delete it. I do not see it in my library of internet plug-ins, etc. I’m using Safari. Please help – thanks.

  3. Ajslookn4u says

    Lee, I am wondering if you know how it is that people can collect facebook bonuses automatically, even when they are not on the computer? Let me explain. I play Slotomania and maybe one or two other games, pure entertainment. I never spend real money. Lately it is a stress reliever. My mother has just recently passed and I find it helps me escape for a few minutes.
    I use the auto collect once a day. I notice that now, I collect maybe one out of every 20. I was confused so I watched my page for 5 minutes straight. If someone posted a reward, say for 200 coins, I would click it to collect. Within 2 seconds, all five rewards were claimed. I have about 500 friends on my facebook page. I use it for gaming, mostly. Friends I have met on the gaming sites. I find it hard to believe that this is someone beating me to the bonus….every-time.

    • says

      It happens.

      Friendly Gaming Simplifier received a lot of publicity when Facebook banned it. FGS has since been re-released by a new developer. I would not be surprised if all the publicity about FGS being banned has driven an increase in the number of people willing to use FGS or similar scripts to collect rewards.

      Join a few groups for the games you play and look for new players to join your FB friendlist. Not all people who join gaming groups use collectors so you should find a few players whose rewards remain collectible to you.

      I am very sorry to learn about your mum. She will be looking in on your from somewhere :)

    • says

      Hi, the developer of FGS had to cease development of the plugin. He was recently allowed back into Facebook but under the strict condition he never again develops the script. I don’t know whether the script is in development elsewhere. I will look. If you find something before I do then please feel free to post a link.

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