>> Thursday, November 26, 2009
Microsoft recently released Silverlight 4, and they showed off its capabilities to the hilt by showing us a cutely titled Facebook client "Fishbowl". Fishbowl essentially provides you with a view of your Facebook account without the ugly bells-and-whistles (read: Suggestions, Highlights et al). It turns down Facebook into what it was supposed to be before social networking overloaded the Internet. It provides you with a very slick, streamlined interface to manage your Facebook deeds.
The application starts off with asking for your credentials and then proceeds to make you click a few "Allow" prompts so that it can fetch the data from Facebook. A word of caution though: The data-fetching itself seems to be agonisingly slow. It's nothing compared to the Chrome/Firefox/Safari goodness that you are used to. However, once done, it provides you with a toolbar on top and a sidebar to the left. The toolbar provides a box to update your status, and different buttons for Home, Friends, Profile, Photos, Notifications, Upload, and Sign Out. The sidebar provides you with feeds from all over Facebook.
The app does a very good job of segregating the overall News Feed into smaller categories. You have different feeds for Comments, Pages, Photos, Links, Videos, and Notes to name a few. It also does a mean job of taking out all the Application spam from your main feed and then giving each application its dedicated location in the Sidebar.
Windows 7 users can put this app to maximum use as it has support for Jumplists and Taskbar Previews out-of-the-box. The Taskbar Preview can actually be used to directly jump to your favorite Facebook section using the controls provided. There is also a mini-mode, which displays a single item of your news-feed at a time. You can use Next and Previous controls to browse through all your Newsfeed items. And last, you also have theme support in a minimalist kind of way. The themes only affect the Toolbar at the top of the window.
All in all, its a must-have for the Facebook junkie. Other users can also take it out for a spin if they are tired of the same, bland Facebook interface and its relentless spamming of the News Feed.
Think it's cool? Or know of a better client for Facebook? Then drop a comment below and get a discussion going!