Release Candidate One with Chris Clark

Facebook URL Helper

If you’ve used Facebook for iPhone version 3.1 you’ve probably been prompted to sync your friends’ profile pics between the web site and your phone’s contacts. It’s a fun feature, and while I’m hoping it someday grows to rival the Palm Prē’s full address book sync, for now it’s just a novelty.

An interesting side effect, though, is the addition of a field to every synced friend’s address card: a new Home Page link for those hundreds of friends who don’t have web sites. That’s fair enough, since Facebook is the average person’s biggest presence on the web, but it uses the peculiar fb:// URL scheme. Filling your address book with links like fb://profile/219500615 is fine and dandy for an iPhone with the Facebook app installed, but those weird links will do absolutely nothing on your Mac once you’ve synced to your desktop. They’re honestly a bit of a nuisance.

So it was that I came to find myself spending my Sunday night writing a little utility to fix the problem. It’s called the Facebook URL Helper, and it intercepts links with the fb:// URL scheme and redirects them as appropriate.

It’s not a daemon, it doesn’t sit on your computer occupying resources when it’s idle, it just quietly registers the URL scheme and awaits clicks. When it gets one it passes it on to your default browser before terminating itself. Besides the additional icon in your Applications folder, you should never know it’s there.

Download it free. I should probably point out at this stage that neither I nor my company has any affiliation with Facebook, Inc. and I offer this software to you as-is with no guarantee that it won’t kick your puppy. I’d like to thank Andy Kim for his wonderful Let’s Move self-installation code I first linked here back in September, and I hope you enjoy it.