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Use Onefeed to replace your New Tab page in Chrome

Looking to get access to more information on your New Tab page in Chrome? With Onefeed you can add a custom newsfeed and get alerts from your social media accounts.

Newer versions of Chrome spruce up the New Tab page by adding some shortcuts to your most-visited Web sites or Chrome apps. A previous extension I wrote about, New Tab Page adds the weather, some headlines, and links to Chrome apps. Onefeed does all of this, plus a custom newsfeed and social media updates from Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Instagram. You can also attach your Dropbox account, if you really want to.

To get started, just install a copy of Onefeed for Chrome from or from the publisher's Web site via the Get Onefeed button. You won't see a new icon appear, but you should see an alert from Chrome saying that the extension has been installed.

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET

Open a new tab in Chrome and you will see options to add all of your social media accounts. Click on each one to log in and grant access to Onefeed. Take caution with the Facebook option, since you can skip out on letting Onefeed post on your behalf (if you don't want it to). When you're done, click Finish and you will see the New Tab page come to life with updates from your social networks.

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET

Folders in the middle of the Onefeed tab can be organized to your liking. Your social media account updates will display along the bottom of this area. To access the newsfeed, just click on either the left- or right-hand arrows. 

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET

To customize which Web sites will appear, click on the setting cog under New Categories or the main Onefeed menu and then select Edit news. You'll have the option to add new Web sites or remove existing ones. The categories in the edit area are a little buggy, but still functional.

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET

The notification center resides in the top right-hand corner, which is where you'll see alerts for things like new Gmail messages or Facebook updates. A nice feature of the Onefeed extension is that it remembers if you were on the shortcuts page or the newsfeed. I prefer to leave the newsfeed open, since most of the shortcuts I would use are already on my bookmarks toolbar. You can also adjust the background pattern to your liking by using the small arrows at the bottom right-hand corner of the New Tab page.

So what do you think? Is this a good use of your New Tab page? Or is it too much information in one place and you'd rather just open the individual Web sites? Share your thoughts in the comments.