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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 March 2008, 11:55 GMT
Facebook introduces new privacy controls
If you have ever been worried about your boss or parents seeing your most embarrassing photos on Facebook, you do not have to worry any more.

Facebook logo

The social networking site has introduced new privacy controls which mean you now have more say over who sees details of your private life and what you have been up to.

You can now split your mates, family and people you work with into different groups and choose how much information each group sees.

Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, apologised last year over privacy
Before now, anyone you accepted as a friend had access to your whole profile including seeing all your photos, private details like when you were born, your telephone number, email address and what did for a job.

By clicking on the privacy tab on the right hand side of your log in page you can stop your mum, boss or teacher viewing the same content as your best friend.

But the social networking site says only 25% of users do that.

How it works

The group privacy controls use friends' lists.

That feature was introduced in December and helps members organise friends in their network into groups.

Those private lists let users target messages to selected friends or filter what personal details those groups see.

Users can create up to 100 different friends' lists.

The future

The company was founded in 2004 as a social site for students at Harvard University in Massachusetts, America.

It has more than 67 million members worldwide, is valued at 7.5bn and is the biggest social networking site in the UK ahead of rivals like Bebo and MySpace.

TOP 10 UK SOCIAL NETWORKS
Facebook
MySpace
Bebo
Windows Live Spaces
BBC Communities
Friends Reunited
Yahoo! Groups
MSN Groups
Google Groups
Piczo
Source: Nielsen Online
Two-thirds of its users are now outside the US compared with about 10% 18 months ago, when most members were student age and in America.

Facebook is now preparing to launch French, German and Spanish versions of the site to gain more users outside the US and UK.

The company says it is also working on a new instant messaging chat feature that runs inside the site, called Facebook Chat.

It works inside a web browser without requiring users to download any special software, similar to services like meebo.com.



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