How to simplify Facebook's interface on the desktop

Facebook is a great place to communicate with friends and relatives, but the site's desktop PC interface leaves a lot to be desired.

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Today’s tip is a little frivolous, but it’s Friday so what the heck. I use Facebook a lot, but I really don’t like how it looks on the desktop. There’s just so much stuff in the interface—especially on the left side of the news feed—and most of it I rarely use.

That’s why I was glad to hear about the recent changes to a Chrome extension called Flatbook that makes Facebook on the desktop a lot cleaner. The extension has been around for a while but recently upgraded its look. In fact, it’s very Material Design-ish—Google’s design language that first appeared in Android Lollipop.

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An example of Flatbook for Chrome in action.

Flatbook removes ads and most of the superfluous items on the right-hand side of the homepage—save for Messenger contacts. The left-hand menu, meanwhile, is compressed into a cleaner look with flat simple icons that categorize the contents that were visible before. It also adds a few new features to the left side, such as “Feeds,” which shows you a selection of Facebook posts from popular pages organized by categories such as news, entertainment, games, music, and movies.

Your news feed also gets tweaked a bit, with larger boxes for each post, and a larger text-entry box at the top for posting your own content. In the top-left corner there’s a slider button you can toggle to disable and enable Flatbook.

To use Flatbook all you have to do is install it from the Chrome Web Store (link above) and then reload any active tabs on Facebook.com. That’s it.

If you ever get tired of Flatbook just remove the extension from your browser.

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