The Scoop: Social Fixer is a free browser extension that has tools to filter posts, remove ads, reveal hidden messages, and generally make Facebook easier to navigate. Software developer Matt Kruse has been expanding this user-driven resource since 2009 in an effort to improve how social media works. Social Fixer can help people upgrade their Facebook browsing experience and discover more social and dating opportunities in their newsfeed. It costs $0 to download the software, but users can make a donation if they wish to support the project.

I’ll admit that sometimes when I’m home alone and feeling a little curious, I’ll type an old crush or ex’s name into social media to see what comes up. Occasionally, after a glass or two of wine, I may even start flipping through years of pictures and posts on an old flame’s profile. Some people call this “Facebook stalking.” I call it a very enjoyable evening.

Of course, going that far back on an acquaintance’s timeline is only fun if it remains a secret between you and your browser history. My romantic daydreaming would quickly turn into a nightmare if my finger slipped and clicked the like button on an old Facebook photo.

The Social Fixer logo

Social Fixer has personalized filters that declutter Facebook’s interface.

Fortunately, Social Fixer has devised a solution to help curious daters browse Facebook without risking utter mortification. The browser extension offers a Stealth Mode option that automatically hides the Like buttons and Comment textboxes on a Facebook profile, so it’s impossible to send a notification by accident. That way, Facebook users can scroll as far back on a timeline as they like without their crush or ex being the wiser.

Social Fixer is a free tool that has a variety of customization options for the Facebook interface. Its ability to reorganize newsfeeds and control filters can be a game changer that motivates people to stop scrolling and start connecting.

An independent software developer named Matt Kruse started working on Social Fixer (originally called Better Facebook) for his own personal use in 2009. He programmed shortcuts and tools to make his Facebook browsing more enjoyable and less frustrating. Soon he realized his hacks could be useful to a larger audience, so he made Social Fixer’s downloadable extension available for free.

“My goal was to make Facebook even better and more efficient by empowering users to use it in the way that worked best for them,” Matt told us. “I accept donations as the means to support this effort, and they are never required but always appreciated.”

Social Fixer is currently being updated to support Facebook’s new layout that rolled out in September 2020. Not all Social Fixer features work correctly in the new layout right now, but Matt is actively working on updating Social Fixer to get everything up and running again.

Download the Browser Extension to Get Social Media Hacks

Social Fixer is a web browser extension, which means it plugs into a person’s browser and only works while he or she is using that browser. It doesn’t alter an individual’s Facebook account, and its changes will not be applied on mobile.

It only takes a couple minutes to download Social Fixer and get access to its one-of-a-kind features, including advanced filtering by keyword, author, application, and other factors. Social Fixer is available as a user script as well as an extension for Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, and Edge.

Photo of Matt Kruse

Matt Kruse has spent over a decade coding solutions to improve Facebook.

You do not have to be tech-savvy to use Social Fixer. Matt has made it extremely user-friendly so anyone with a Facebook profile can dive into the settings and make sense of their newsfeed.

“It works by injecting custom code that I wrote into the Facebook site,” Matt explained. “That code digs into what is displayed on the screen, scraping and extracting information and changing how it looks and behaves.”

Matt has been diligently working on Social Fixer for over 10 years now, so he understands the complexities of Facebook’s code and can take people behind the scenes to make the interface their own.

People can use Social Fixer to customize how their Facebook browser looks (you can hide entire sections or remove sponsored posts) and prioritize their friends’ posts by recency. Facebook users can also protect their online privacy by anonymizing their Facebook screenshots, which means replacing all names, photos, and personal details with generic information.

Over the years, Matt has taken user feedback to determine which features to add and how to grow Social Fixer for a large and diverse audience. Version 26.0.0 was released earlier in 2020, and it represents the most cutting-edge offering for Facebook users.

“These days, big companies like Facebook and Google dominate our actions by dictating how we use the tools they provide,” Matt said. “We are all manipulated by their algorithms, user interfaces, and functionality limitations. Users need the ability to take back the control and have these sites be our tools, not the other way around.”

Filter Out the Noise & Focus on Posts You Actually Like

Scrolling through Facebook can be frustrating and overwhelming because individuals have no control over what you see or how the layout is organized. That’s where Social Fixer comes in with an array of filtering and customization tools.

Social Fixer has powerful filter options that instill new rules into which stories, photos, and conversations rank highest in your newsfeed.

Screenshot from Social Fixer

Users can choose to hide whole sections of the Facebook homepage.

Singles can choose to highlight posts that contain keywords that attract them, and they can hide posts with keywords that turn them off. This can be a great way to bring compatible date options to the top of a newsfeed and keep undesirables off your radar.

“It can help make sense of all the noise,” Matt said. “Filtering can be used to make the news feed more usable by hiding what you don’t care to see and bringing your attention to things you don’t want to miss.”

Plus, if you’re tired of rereading the same post multiple times a day, you can ask Social Fixer to automatically hide posts that you’ve already read and only post new unread content. After all, it’s a newsfeed, not an oldsfeed!

Looking to the future, Matt hopes to develop more user-friendly features that empower digital citizens to set their own standards and boundaries on social media.

“I want to shift the focus of Social Fixer a bit and tackle some of the big issues, including insulating users from Facebook’s manipulative and exploitative algorithms,” Matt told us. “I want to help users be socially responsible and not get stuck into the trap of using Facebook too much. I want to help make sure that any time on Facebook is time well spent.”

Keeping People Connected in the Digital Landscape

Social Fixer began as one man’s pet project, and it has become a popular tool for anyone who wants to show Facebook who’s boss. The browser extension offers a support system geared toward users seeking greater privacy, personalization, and control over their Facebook browsing experience.

Daters can benefit from having so many filtering options at their fingertips, and they can also choose to keep their inboxes open to new romantic opportunities. Facebook often marks a message as spam if it comes from someone outside your friends list. These messages are hidden from the user, but Social Fixer gives these messages a second chance to make a first impression.

In some cases, the message isn’t spam at all but an old school friend, distant relation, or ex-partner reaching out to say hello and hopefully reconnect.

Screenshot of Social Fixer's tools

Social Fixer can reveal hidden messages sent from people outside your friends list.

“I’ve also heard from quite a few people who have made connections with people they long forgot, because Social Fixer alerted them to messages they received but Facebook hid from them,” Matt said. “These were connections from old friends and family, which would have never been seen were it not for Social Fixer.”

During COVID-19, many people have turned to Facebook as their main social outlet and dating wingman, but it’s important to realize that its tools are perfect. Social Fixer has endeavored to fill in the blind spots and give users a more personalized and engaging experience.

“Social Fixer allows users to filter things like ads and political posts out so they can concentrate on staying connected, and this has helped them immensely to feel less lonely,” Matt said. “Lately I have been really touched by messages from people who suffer from various disabilities and have a difficult time with Facebook’s new layout changes. Using Social Fixer allows them to hide parts of the page and customize their view.”

Matt told us that whenever he gets bogged down with coding or feels daunted by technical challenges, he thinks of all the people who have gotten a smile, made a friend, or become a little less lonely thanks to Social Fixer. Those success stories and positive feedback inspire him to keep moving forward.

Social Fixer Can Customize & Streamline the User Experience

Social media sites like Facebook give everyday people access to new friends, stories, and date prospects. But it’s not always easy to go from a Friend Request to a Relationship Status Update. Today’s daters have to mind their clicks and posts as they go online — and Social Fixer can help smooth the way to new connections.

Social Fixer is a user-friendly Facebook solution run with integrity and heart. Over the last 11 years, Matt has come up with a library of features that can transform Facebook according to the individual’s needs and preferences.

Whether it’s helping people filter out politics, anonymize screenshots, or Facebook stalk in privacy, Social Fixer puts the user in the driver’s seat and allows them to decide what is relevant, interesting, and helpful to them.

“If you want to take control of your social experience and make it work for you, instead of you working for it, then you need Social Fixer,” Matt said. “It is nice to know that this side project of mine is actually helping people and minimizing the negative impact from Facebook itself.”