Interface innovator

Make basic changes to the way Facebook appears with this Chrome add-on.

If you are a person of a certain age, you may remember when MySpace was the go-to social-networking Web site. Although Facebook doubtlessly contributed to MySpace's decline, we don't think it's a coincidence that people began fleeing MySpace shortly after profile modifications became commonplace. What was once a basic, easy-to-read personal profile became, for many users, a train wreck of hideous wallpapers, illegible fonts, and autoplaying music. Facebook has been wise to limit this sort of user creativity, ensuring that the Facebook interface remains more or less uniform and functional. If you can't resist the urge to tweak, though, there's Facebook Styler. This Chrome add-on won't actually let you customize your Facebook profile, but it will change the way Facebook appears to you in Chrome.

We like what Facebook Styler is trying to do, but we can't say that it totally succeeds. The first thing that we noticed was that Facebook Styler moves the Friend Requests, Messages, and Notifications icons so that they are on top of the Facebook logo, which is annoying and looks cluttered. The add-on has several pages of customizations, including Sidebar Position, Transparency, Fixes, Filter, Colors, and Hide. We fiddled around with all of these features, and though we did think it was kind of neat that we could change the page header bar to our favorite color, overall, we weren't impressed. People who like to tinker with these things just for fun may find Facebook Styler to be worth a try, but we don't think it brought any meaningful improvements to the Facebook interface. We would have also liked to see either a Help file or clearer descriptions of each of the extension's features. Overall, Facebook Styler didn't do much for us, but it may be worth checking out if you're an interface tweaker.

Facebook Styler installs and uninstalls without issues. We recommend this program with reservations.

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