MySpace has just launched its official toolbar, giving users immediate access to their MySpace activity notifications regardless of what site they’re currently browsing on the web. MySpace has been testing the browser plugin since last year (we originally wrote about it in December), but it was only available to a limited number of users. Beginning today, it will be available internationally to all users, and the site will begin to publicize it.
The toolbar is available on Windows for Firefox and IE users, as well as on Mac for Firefox (there’s no Safari support yet). You can grab it on this page, which also includes a nifty interactive demo of the toolbar so you can get a feel for it before installing the plugin.
Using the toolbar, MySpace members can update and keep track of their status updates, messages, comments, and other alerts. The toolbar also includes links to a variety of MySpace’s services, along with its Google-powered search engine. I don’t think I’ve installed a browser toolbar since around 2002, but there’s no question that many of MySpace’s devoted users will love to get their friend requests and messages in real time.
There have been a handful of unofficial MySpace toolbars released in the past, but they are occasionally broken when MySpace rolls out site updates and had to use scraping to detect status changes. But while they may not offer the same functionality and stability as the official plugin, some of them do offer one nifty feature that the official toolbar doesn’t have: the ability to hit a button to ‘Simplify’ a MySpace user’s profile, removing the irritating flare that some users seem to love so much.