March 26, 2011

Facebook Notifications from Chrome, Using "What's Up!"

For many people using Facebook, the first thing we look for is whether activity has taken place on our wall, or if discussions we've participated in before have attracted new comments from our friends and our friends' friends. It's this Pavlovian need to get feedback and reinforcement for our updates, our shares and our photos, to be part of a continuing conversation. But there's no need to be visiting every couple minutes to see activity. A handy Chrome extension called "What's Up" watches Facebook so you don't have to, pushing notifications in a small window on top of your browser, where you can rejoin the conversation, or simply dismiss.

Notifications of activity on Facebook can travel to your e-mail or can be pushed to your mobile phone, but the latter doesn't contain a link to the source, simply saying action took place. With "What's Up" for Facebook, you get a link, who posted the update, and the item itself, such as the comment. It's a lightweight way to stay on top of activity on Facebook without having to contribute to the many minutes (or hours?) a day you already spend on the site, and still be in the loop.

The notifications are simple, and come to the front of your screen, no matter what app you are in. So long as you are logged into Facebook and Google Chrome is open, you're good to go. You can find the extension by visiting the Chrome Web store.