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Taking Advantage

By Reuters  |  Posted 07-21-2008 Print

Taking Advantage

Facebook, which began in 2004 as a socializing site for college students, has become the world's largest social network, overtaking News Corp's rival site MySpace.

The latest changes aim to reward designers who create genuinely useful programs and to stop software makers from forcing members to promote their applications without fully knowing what they are doing.

"Some developers chose to build applications," Ling said. "Others took advantage. Obviously it is not good for users, not good for other developers, not good for Facebook."

Hadi Partovi, 34, president of music-sharing site iLike, said: "One big change is that Facebook users will effectively get to try before they buy."

"The changes stop things from being automatically added to your profile without your okay," Partovi said.

The moves are also meant to reassure members about privacy by helping them better understand how friends can see the personal information they publish. Facebook has been dribbling out details of these plans since early this year in an effort to reduce surprises for users.

It also gives users more control over tools they use to share snippets of text or photos, videos, music or other personal information with friends in their network, said Mark Slee, 24, product manager in charge of the profile redesign.

New profiles will first be offered as an optional view to members before gradually being implemented for everyone.

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