Top 5 Facebook Plug-ins
A few weeks ago, Facebook released their own API for their site. (For those non-nerds and people that see the sun out there, the API just lets users write programs for Facebook.) To see all of these nifty plug-ins, click on the “developers” link on the bottom of any Facebook page then click on the “Product Directory,” or just go here.
Many of the current plug-ins are nice in concept, but don’t quite work because of the lack of users. Who wants to exchange books if only three people from the school are using the plug-in?
Most of the plug-ins sitll have a long way to go, but some work and are reasonably handy. Here is HackCollege.com’s Top 5:
lickuacious gives you a surprisingly accurate readout of yourself using its own algorithms behind the scenes. For example, it took a look at all of my friends and determined I was a “juvenile playboy.” I’ll take that the best way possible. It also determines which of your friends are the most popular (depending on number of pictures and such). All of this is wrapped into a clean, Web 2.0 interface that is easy on the eyes.
- Friendly Views
Friendly Views is that feature that everyone wishes was already on Facebook. The plug-in looks at all of your current friends in your profile and then puts them on a Google Map of the entire United States. If you have a lot of Facebook friends, it’s quite the ego boost.
While approaching stalker status, MatchBook is also a feature every user secretly wishes was built into Facebook. It sorts your friends in descending order according common interests. If you think similarities attract, this plug-in is for you.
I don’t know how many times I’ve lost track of how-much-I-owe-who and who-owes-me-for-that-one-dinner exchanges. Among the several bill tracker Facebook plug-ins, MoochBook is the simplest and does the best job. Its direct integration with Facebook (with the others you have to know your friends’ email addresses) makes it easy to keep track of your expenses.
This last one was tough because the rest of the plug-ins are not ready for primetime. fotocrib was probably the most functional remaining plug-in that has some potential. It allows you to quickly put cool filters and the photos in your Facebook albums. Think Apple store iSight fun without the drive. The overall feel of the site, however, is tough on the eyes. Some smooth edges and nicer buttons will give this plug-in its rightful spot on this list.
In general, a majority of the Facebook plug-ins are severely lacking in functionality or straight up don’t work. Not a single classified ad plug-in made this page because–I believe–they are inherently doomed without direct integration with Facebook, which is not entirely likely.
So, fellows students, keep working at it. I will following up to this post with honorable mentions: plug-ins that have great potential but still have a few kinks to be worked out. Stay tuned and happy stalking.