Fishbowl is an open source desktop client for Facebook. It was designed as a Microsoft Windows client (Microsoft .NET Framework) application, which was developed by uxlabs (at Microsoft) by utilizing Facebook’s new stream APIs. The original purpose was to show off how a web platform can be utilized on a desktop client. Since it is a lab showcase application, therefore, it can be downloaded by technology enthusiasts and Facebook users but it is not supported anymore by the original developer i.e. Microsoft. The unique thing about Fishbowl is that it provides a novel desktop experience to Facebook by arranging commonly used options in a different format. For example, the feeds are visible with larger images and the friends list is horizontally aligned with curved thumbnail images.
To get started, login with your Facebook account. Once your are logged in, you will be prompted to allow access to the Fishbowl application so it can access your Facebook account for desktop integration.
After that, you can simply enjoy Facebook on from the Fishbowl desktop client and experience a unique interface for commonly used options. Fishbowl integrates all Facebook options including Facebook chat, album management, access to friends profiles, managing your Facebook settings, performing Facebook search, etc. You can increase the size of the window by stretching it from either of the four side like any other common window. Unlike the actual Facebook interface, notifications, inbox, settings and sign-out option is located at the bottom of the main interface. Albums can even be saved by clicking on the Save Album button (when you visit a Facebook Album).
News feeds, Friends List, Links, etc can be accessed from the right-hand side menu from the Home Page. You can also zoom in or out of a page by clicking on the + or – buttons from the right-hand side of the main interface.You can enter your status message from the top left-hand side text box below your name.
Fishbowl is an interesting application for integrating your Facebook account into a desktop application. Unlike many commonly developed desktop clients for web platforms, it is also surprisingly stable and smooth in functionality. However, it is worth mentioning here that despite upgrading to version 2.05, Fishbowl has been unable to rectify the problem of excessive memory usage. The memory intensive attribute of Fishbowl had also been noticed earlier when it was initially released by Microsoft. Unfortunately, this problem has not yet been rectified in its latest version. To find out more about Fishbowl, check out this video.
Fishbowl works on the following operating systems:
- Windows XP
- Windows Vista
- Windows 7