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Facebook goes for a fresh 'face'

india Updated: Mar 12, 2009 15:37 IST

AFP
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Online social-networking service Facebook on Wednesday began rolling out a revamped home page that emphasizes fresh news.

"The update will happen slowly, so everyone should have the new home page over the coming days," Facebook product manager Peter Deng wrote in a statement.

The California firm has received more than 30,000 email messages from users about the new home page since it revealed the planned changes a week ago, according to Deng.

Changes include making the status update question "What's on your mind?" building on a theme in a Facebook home page redesign last year.

Home page upgrades include a Publisher tool making it easier to post photos, video or other content to profile pages and share developments with Facebook friends.

Facebook updates are sent in real time from the new home page and emphasize the freshest information.

"As more and more is shared, we want you to be able to find out everything that is going on in the world around you at any given moment, or shape the stream of information most relevant to you," Deng wrote.

Filtering tools on the new home page let people be more selective about who they want to get news from, according to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

"Over the past five years, Facebook has evolved to make sharing information more efficient and to give people more control," Zuckerberg said of the website he started in 2004.

"This year, we are going to continue making the flow of information even faster and more customized."

Facebook is courting Twitter lovers with new public pages that fire instant updates to limitless audiences in a fashion echoing the essence of the hot micro-blogging service.

Facebook still limits to 5,000 the number of friends that users can link to personal profiles, but has removed the cap from public pages tailored for celebrities, politicians and others with messages for the masses.

Those signed up for the new Facebook public pages at its launch last week included US President Barack Obama, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and rock band U2.

Fast-growing Facebook boasts more than 175 million members and founder Mark Zuckerberg believes that number will crest 200 million by the end of this year.