In Your Face(book)

The past week there were many users upset about the News Feed feature that was introduced. That showed all the profile changes of users in your community network right on your home page.

Now Facebook announced that it will lift the restriction of needing a pre-approved e-mail address (from a college or approved high school, & from some corporate email domains) to register. In the new version later this month, if you sign up without a school email, you are put in a regional/geographic network.

Obviously, they are planning to widen their user base (read "more faces to look at ads") but one of the things that made Facebook somewhat safer for kids to be using was that it was somewhat limited community (for example, my community centers around having a email address) and that it allowed to control access to who could see your photos, post comments, etc. (though many users just allow everyone to see their information including their phone number, dorm room #, IM name etc.) The site still was dubbed "Stalkbook" by some critics but it was YOUR choice to let users see your info.

"About one-third of Facebook's college users have graduated and are now interacting with more and more people outside of their schools and work environment," said Melanie Deitch, director of marketing for Facebook. "While we will continue to stay focused on our core users, we don't want to limit the Facebook experience."
According to ComScore, it's the seventh-most trafficked site but it still has less users than its biggest competitors Friendster and MySpace.The creator, Mark Zuckerberg, actually apologized in a letter on the site and said they would add privacy features.


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