Social networking website Facebook has responded to widely voiced privacy concerns with new tools that give users more control over which of their friends see their information.
The new features also allow users to download all their Facebook information to their own computers - a useful feature if they wish to close their Facebook account.
The new groups feature allows Facebook's 500-million-plus members to group friends according to different categories, such as family, neighbours, work, sports teams and college. They can then easily specify which group to post information to - making it much easier to share information with some people and not others.
Facebook's previous method for classifying friends into different groups was achieved through the use of cumbersome lists and were utilized by only about 5 per cent of members.
"We're not being hyperbolic when we say (groups) is going to be a fundamental shift in how people use Facebook," company chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said. "No one wants to make lists."
The new features were unveiled at Facebook's Silicon Valley headquarters just days after the release of the movie The Social Network, which paints an unflattering picture of an arrogant Zuckerberg and depicts his disrespect for other people's information when he founded Facebook.
The new downloading feature will enable users to save copies of photos, documents and other information on their own computer.
Zuckerberg appeared unconcerned that it would also make it easier for people to leave the world's largest social network.
"It's our core belief that people should own and be able to control their information in Facebook," Zuckerberg said. "We view this as a philosophical thing."