Social networking site Facebook has announced that subscribers can adjust their privacy controls to make their profiles open to total public viewing. The move comes as Facebook changes its ''look'' and opens itself to more user and developer tinkering.
A new "Everyone" option included in the profile privacy settings page, one which allows users to open up their entire profile, or components such as status updates, wall posts, personal information, videos, photos, and links, to anyone (Facebook friend or otherwise). This change is part of the overhaul announced at the beginning of the month by Facebook, one intended to promote a broader use by both individuals and companies alike.
"One of the top priorities at Facebook is offering privacy controls that let you choose exactly what you share with whom. We have largely focused on enabling you to give access to your profile to people you confirmed as friends and people in your networks," said Mark Slee, a Facebook engineer wrote on Monday in company blog post.
He also said, "While these controls remain important and a priority for us, many of you have explained that you also want to open parts of your profile to a wider audience. Starting today, you can choose to make your profile and any of your content available to everyone on Facebook."
Until now, user profiles were automatically made private, accessible only to "friends" and small networks. The site recently issued public profiles, which will allow businesses and enterprises with Facebook pages to post videos, photos and updates in the manner of individual profiles; this new step of allowing profiles to be public will theoretically benefit businesses looking to further expand their message.
"In the past, searching for friends you haven't seen in a while or someone who has a common name may have been difficult. You may have only been able to see their search listing and a small thumbnail version of a photo, if that," Slee wrote. "With this change, people can use the 'Everyone' option and make it easier for you to find and connect to all the people you know."
Earlier in February, Facebook dealt with enormous subscriber backlash after it changed its Terms of Service to claim ownership over any content subscribers uploaded to the site. Facebook rescinded that earlier position. (See: Facebook volte-face on new user terms)