Facebook Toolbar: First Glance

I was greeted with an invitation to install the new Facebook Toolbar (Firefox only). I must say, this is exactly what I needed. I wrote earlier about how to eliminate distractions and this is, ironically, a great way to do it. You don’t spend countless times during the day logging in to see if there is something new worth looking at (which means less time mindlessly browsing). In theory, that is…

The toolbar, like Google’s or anyone else’s, is always there showing you only what you want. It’s easy enough to customize (under Quick Links). The bar itself is broken down into just a few select features.

Perfect. Instead of taking two pages (Login then Home) to get to My Photos it can now be done in one click. The same is said for the rest of the major Facebook sections.

Search Facebook

I find it funny the number of times I jump on Facebook to find someone’s contact information. What’s even funnier is the times I use it to find out more about people I’ve just met (or will be interviewing on Friday).

Share on Facebook

I already had the bookmarklet installed so by creating a nice button specifically for sharing, well, it’s exactly what I’ve been needing this whole time.


This I think is really interesting. As soon as someone changes something (ie: status changed) it’s pushed straight to the toolbar. You can get a little popup that tells you ‘John is now excited for this weekend’s game’ or ‘Mary just changed her profile picture’. If you’re on a Mac and you have Growl installed it even includes that functionality as well.

Facebook Sidebar

Instead of visiting Facebook just to see whats new with your friends you can turn on the Facebook Sidebar (sorted by status updates or name) and find everyone. I don’t see this feature very useful, it’s not practical to scroll through a few hundred friends; I’d rather just type their name in the search bar.

What’s missing?

I need to see my upcoming events, for one. I’d also like to be able to poke back right from the toolbar. Additionally, I need a setting for links (send a message, poke, etc.) to either open in my current window or a new window/tab. But these are all minor things for now..

Either way, there’s little need to visit Facebook anymore. What will that mean for advertisers? How will new sponsored groups get advertised? Will we see advertisers in our notifications? Or will they use the information to better know us (like Google)? In any case, I expect the features to be expanded- it’s a good start.