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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Octofeed presents a clean, clutter-free viewing experience for your Facebook news feed, for free.10