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Facebook begins rolling out new beta website

Staff (Social Media Portal) - 21 July 2008

In development since early this year, next generation features of popular social networking platform Facebook are being showcased as from today within a freshly redesigned visual environment. A press release posted on Facebook today invites selected users to preview the site?s new appearance and experiment with the new functionalities.

Among the offerings presented, a new system of news feeds is set to automatically source and stream stories related to the user and his or her friends on Facebook directly through the Wall feature on the user?s profile page. Site members are given a higher degree of control over the stories published on their profile, with the option being granted to preset both their length (one-line, short or full) and their prominence on the page.

Posting content has allegedly been made easier thanks to an integrated, one-stop-only ?Publisher? feature through which users? can add photo, video or text content either on their own or on their friends? profiles. Applications, even third-party ones, can now be tested before they are added to a profile.

Navigation has been streamlined with a new left-hand profile menu, the ?Applications? menu having been moved to the ?Applications? link at the top of the screen and replaced with a customisable system of tabs enabling the user to add his own labels to the default ones (Wall, Info, Photos and Boxes).

The new edition of Facebook is currently launched on an invitation-only basis, with access destined to be expanded during the coming few days to all of Facebook?s audience. As company founder and chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg explains, ?We?ve made the changes rolling out today in order to highlight the most recent and relevant information that users value, give users even more control and ownership over their profiles and simplify the user experience?.

If the figures quoted in the press release are to be believed, this participative brand-development strategy would appear to be working, with over 100,000 Facebook users offering constructive suggestions over the past six months, some of which, it is claimed, have been included in the version being rolled out today.

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