With Q Alerts, you can, and not only that, you can also show new friends requests, new event invitations and even, new groups invites.
100% configurable in backend to allow easy customization. Choose between horizontal or vertical layout, and what links to show.
Q Alerts is easy to install and set up. And best of all, it works perfectly.
The css layout is a bit odd depending on what position you place it in, but Suburbans offers great support and listens to their customers. I customized Q Alerts on our site and still had no problems at all with it working as it should- Perfectly.
MORE than worth the tiny cost.
Thanks for your review.
The ajax update is potential overkill for many jomsocial sites. It is no wonder that you dont have this implementation either in core JomSocial or in third party extension. Imagine just one user with 1000 friends and site having to scan all of them to check if they generated some activity :)
Many servers would just blow up :)