Octofeed: Your Facebook Timeline, Beautified

As a frequent Facebook user, I’ve found that the UI has been constantly updated to make it easier to connect with others and share content – but at the cost of the experience of actually consuming that content. Between the news ticker sidebar, ads, notifications, and trending articles, it’s become a pain to sift through what I want to see and what I’m forced to see.

There is hope, though – and it’s in the form of a cool new app called Octofeed. It displays your home feed and wall in a squeaky-clean interface that’s great for desktop, tablet and mobile viewing, with nothing to install and no registration required. Let’s take a look at what Octofeed has to offer and see if we can’t enjoy our cat videos any more than we already do!

The Octofeed homepage

The Octofeed homepage

Overview

Octofeed is a simple free app that you can use to casually browse Facebook content in a neat new distraction-free UI. It works on a variety of modern browsers, looks beautiful and is a great way to enjoy media shared by your friends when you want to kick back and unwind.

Pictures look great on Octofeed, with comments alongside

Pictures look great on Octofeed, with comments alongside

The interface

There’s no sign-up form on Octofeed‘s webpage – just a link to sign in with your Facebook account. Once you’ve done that, you’ll see your feed in all its glory with plenty of white space, a clean layout, large easy-to-read type and none of Facebook’s UI annoyances – not even ads.

Videos with comments on Octofeed

Videos with comments on Octofeed

Most of the relevant functionality is retained, though – you can read and add comments, like posts, view them on Facebook and even share them on a variety of social networks. Octofeed also periodically refreshes the page (feed, wall or brand Page) that you’re viewing automatically, with a timer at the top of the page to let you know when it will do so.

Photos and videos are displayed in much larger sizes than they are on Facebook’s own home feed; status updates and comments are much more legible too and look great. You can also view Pages and friends’ walls if the links are available on your feed. The app’s design is responsive, meaning that it adapts according to the width of your browser viewport, and can be viewed easily on smartphones and tablets, too.

Octofeed looks great on mobile devices too

Octofeed looks great on mobile devices too

Consuming and sharing media

As mentioned, Octofeed does a great job of displaying photos and videos from Facebook – and goes the extra mile too. Images from Facebook albums have a button below them that you can click to reveal a strip (that allows horizontal scrolling) of the other pictures from their respective albums. Similarly, YouTube videos have buttons to display strips of related videos and even other videos uploaded by that YouTube user.

Related videos from Youtube are displayed in a scrollable strip

Related videos from Youtube are displayed in a scrollable strip

Videos get special treatment on Octofeed – scrolling down to a video player causes it to begin playing automatically, albeit muted. You can click to unmute and scroll past it to stop further streaming/playback. That’s a rather neat feature I’ve yet to see in any other app.

Sharing is simple – just look for the triangle-shaped button below posts and content and select a social network of your choice to broadcast the piece.

The Share button gives you options to quickly repost content

The Share button gives you options to quickly repost content

Limitations

Octofeed is made purely for consuming content from Facebook – it’s not really meant for interacting extensively with your friends or managing your Faceb00o Pages. There’s no search bar, no Friends list, no apps, no chat and no Page logins – which, again, is by design, and helps the app bring you a clutter-free viewing experience. It’d be nice to see some controls for customizing the app’s look and feel though, and we sure wouldn’t mind options to customize font sizes and color schemes.

Conclusion

I like to think of Octofeed as Couch Mode for Facebook. It’s a great little app that I’d recommend to anyone who enjoys discovering new content shared by friends and family – which is practically everybody. It doesn’t hurt that Octofeed is free, utilizes a responsive design and doesn’t post anything extra to your feed.

Design connoisseurs will appreciate the clean layout and visual elements and regular users will love the ad and clutter-free experience. If you’re in the habit of logging onto Facebook after a long day at work, or enjoy browsing it on your tablet to relax, give Octofeed a try today.


Summary

Octofeed presents a clean, clutter-free viewing experience for your Facebook news feed, for free.

10
  • http://digitalsimple.info Sherman B

    This seems really nice but has a huge flaw for me. It requires flash on the desktop. It runs fine without it on the iPad but it’s required on the desktop. #disappointed #lazy

  • Tim

    From the title, I thought this was going to be some kind of hack for the Facebook Timeline page. Unfortunately, it is not :(

  • http://dedinode.com Justine Hay

    It’s okay but I prefer the Pinterest style display that’s also available. I think it was called PinView or something similar.

    PS. I don’t know whether you take requests for reviewing WebApp’s but would be nice to see an article on ComCure which I’ve currently been trialing the last few days.

  • Marc

    Hmm, looks nice at first sight.

    However, I uploaded two photos today; Facebook shows both in one status update, Octofeed only shows one…

    Videos start playing immediately, so if there are more than one on my screen at the same time, my computer gets terribly slow because they all need to be downloaded at once. As a consequence, videos don’t run smoothly, and scrolling becomes a nightmare…

    What is it here at Envatos sites last few months, that more and more apps get 9/10 or 10/10 ratings, where only 5 minutes of using these apps sometimes make me cry?

    For me, 10/10 means it couldn’t be done better, but that’s not true in this case!

    • Lauriann

      I totally agree with the absence of discrimination – objectivity – in the ratings.

    • http://techinch.com/ Matthew Guay

      Hey Marc and Lauriann, I’m sorry about. I will work with our team and try to find a better way to express app ratings and make them useful. We definitely want our reviews to actually be useful to our readers.

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