Facebook Profiles Get Makeover - InformationWeek
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12/6/2010
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Facebook Profiles Get Makeover

A new look coming to Facebook profile pages promises to be more personal.

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Facebook on Sunday introduced a redesign of users' profile pages that's more visual and less tied to chronological lists of events.

As Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained to 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl, the revised design aims to provide a better sense of the user as a person.

Facebook's plan for greater intimacy relies on a larger profile picture and a new ribbon of five recent pictures. The user can choose whether these pictures are restricted to images that he or she has uploaded or whether pictures taken by others in which the user has been "tagged" are allowed.

"People love photos," Zuckerberg told Stahl. "Photos originally weren't that big a part of the idea for Facebook, but we just found that people really like them, so we built out this functionality."

Another change involves the addition of biographical highlights at the top of the user's profile page, above the picture ribbon. The idea is to help profiles convey more relevant information about the user, to make them more than a list of recent activities.

In a blog post, Facebook engineer Josh Wiseman says that profiles now offer more ways to share information about interests, activities, and beliefs. "You can list the projects you worked on at your job, classes you took in school, your favorite musicians and sports teams, and more," he wrote. "You can also share your life philosophy by connecting to the religions, political affiliations, and people you follow and admire."

Users can now highlight important relationships and create groups of friends. A new "infinite scroll" feature allow faster browsing of large lists of posts and photos. And the search capabilities on the Friends page have been improved.

The new Facebook profile design isn't immediately available. The company is planning to roll it out gradually, with the goal of reaching all of the site's users by early next year.

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