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If things go as expected you will be able to share more personal info on your facebook page.

Facebook Unveils Profile Page Redesign

By Scott Morrison
Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

SAN FRANCISCO (Dow Jones)– Facebook Inc. on Sunday unveiled a profile page redesign that lets users share more details, display photos and highlight friends — tidbits the social network said are like “conversation starters” that will let people tell their story and learn more about friends.

The redesign is that latest effort by Facebook to consolidate its grip on the social networking space and increasingly become people’s default destination on the Internet. The Palo Alto, Calif.-based social networking company, which lets users share messages, photos and other information with their friends, topped 500 million users earlier this year and has become a Silicon Valley heavyweight.

It has recently unveiled a new messaging system that many observers believed is aimed at Google Inc.’s (GOOG) Gmail service, as well as a location check-in feature aimed at capturing a slice of the nascent local online advertising market, which is also being targeted by Google, Yahoo Inc. (YHOO) and other Internet companies.

Facebook said in a blog post that its new profile page includes a brief overview of people’s basic information, such as where they are from, where they went to school and where they work.

Users will also be encouraged to share interests and activities, such as listing classes they took in school, their favorite musicians and sports teams. Users can connect to religions, political affiliations, and people they admire.

A Facebook spokesperson said the company’s existing privacy settings will not be altered as a result of the profile page redesign.

“If you have restricted the access to any of your content, it will continue to be viewable by only the people you’ve previously selected in your privacy settings,” the spokesperson said.

Facebook’s new profile pages will also include a row of five of the most recently tagged photos of each user. People can hide specific photos if they don’t want them to appear at the top of their profile page.

The company said users will be able to determine who can and cannot see profile page photos. People who are not allowed to see a user’s tagged photos will see photos from the members profile picture album instead. People who are not allowed to see either tagged photos or profile picture album will not see any photos at the top of a user’s profile page.

Users can upgrade to the new profile page immediately and Facebook said it plans to roll out the new page to all of its 500 million members by early next year.

Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg was expected to reveal more details about the site’s new features during an interview airing on CBS’s “60 Minutes” program Sunday night.

While Facebook remains privately held, the company’s pre-IPO stock trades on secondary markets at prices that give it an implied market capitalization of as much as $43 billion.

-By Scott Morrison; Dow Jones Newswires; 415-765-6118; scott.morrison@dowjones.com

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