Facebook's Firefox extension is either awesome or annoying. We can't really tell yet.

Luckily, you can turn off the pop-up windows.

Facebook

Although the once-exclusive social networking site Facebook has since opened up to the general public, its user base still largely consists of high school and college students who are prone to procrastination. In fact, Facebook's facilitation of voyeuristic procrastination is one reason that it probably caught on so virally in the first place. And now, Facebook users can integrate procrastination right into their Firefox 2.0 browsers, with the just-announced Facebook Toolbar. It really gives the service an always-there presence on your Web surfing experience. Paranoiacs might find it a little Big Brother-ish, kind of like they did when the news feed feature was launched a few months ago. But aren't online social networking sites inherently a tad invasive? By now, I'm guessing most people wouldn't have a problem with this kind of thing.

As far as Firefox toolbars go, this one's pretty functional. You can hit a button that launches a sidebar to display your friends' recent updates, use a search box for quick access to your friends' profiles, and see a tally of how many new messages and friend requests you have. There's also a button so you can "share" links and media on your profile. Plus, aside from the toolbar itself, the extension has little pop-up windows that appear whenever you have a new alert from Facebook: a friend request, message, or "poke," among other things. The pop-up function could either be really cool or really annoying, depending on your preferences. If they get on your nerves, you can turn them off.

If you're a Facebook user running Firefox 2.0, you can download the toolbar here. And if you're into developer tweakery, you might be interested to know that the code's open source.

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About the author

Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.

 

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