Monitor Facebook Status Updates While You Use Chrome

Are you a Facebook junkie? If so, you probably find yourself hopping back and forth between a Facebook tab and whatever else you happen to be doing in your browser. That's not terribly productive.

If you're a Google Chrome user, you can keep Facebook front and center with MyStatusBar. This extension adds a Facebook status bar to the bottom of your browser, where it stays visible in every tab you have open. That way you can keep up with the latest messages, friend requests, and notifications, all without clicking away from your current page.

Here's how to get set up with MyStatusBar:

1. Head to the extension's page in the Chrome Store, then click Add to Chrome.

2. Wait until you see a new tab, then click the Login to Facebook button at the bottom.

3. That'll open a pop-up window, where you'll click Log in with Facebook.

4. Now you'll see a permissions list. You'll probably want to allow them all to get the maximum benefit from MyStatusBar, but you can certainly disable any you're uncomfortable with. (Needless to say, using an extension like this requires access to your account.)

5. On my system, I had to click the X in the bottom-right corner of that window, the one just above the blue MyStatusBar bar, to make the Allow button visible. Without clicking that button, you can't finish the setup.

And that's it! Now just open a new tab and you'll see your Facebook status bar at the bottom. Neat!

It works much like the standard status bar, but adds a Search field and a handy "Share this page" button (useful for sharing any page that doesn't have its own Facebook button). My only complaint is that when you click, say, the message or notification icon, it opens a new Facebook tab rather than a pop-up showing the actual content.

That said, you can scroll through status updates by clicking the up/down arrows, which is definitely nice. As something a Facebook junkie myself, I'm liking this add-on a lot.

Contributing Editor Rick Broida writes about business and consumer technology. Ask for help with your PC hassles at hasslefree@pcworld.com, or try the treasure trove of helpful folks in the PC World Community Forums. Sign up to have the Hassle-Free PC newsletter e-mailed to you each week.

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