* Facebook's profile redesign puts photos at centerstage
* Profile redesign has year-long rollout
By Sarah McBride
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Facebook Sunday unveiled
new profile pages that give photos centerstage, allow users to
highlight important friends and go into far more detail on
Previous changes on the world's largest social networking
site have sometimes resulted in criticism on how the company
handles privacy issues, generating occasional backlashes
against Facebook. The revamp comes amid ongoing speculation
about when Facebook will launch an initial public offering.
In a blog post, Facebook software engineer Josh Wiseman
said the overhaul would make it "easier for you to tell your
story and learn about your friends."
Users with the new profile get a strip of photos at the top
of their profile pages. Under the old system, users keep photos
under a separate tab.
Bigger photos accompany lists of interests, such as
favorite television shows and sports teams, helping them pop
out from the screen.
Users can also list their friends by relationship, grouping
family members together and highlighting their best friends.
The changes make it easier for Facebook users to integrate
details about their work lives into their pages, a shift for a
service used largely for social activities.
There is much more room for job information such as
specific projects a user has worked on. The move highlights
Facebook's potential to compete with LinkedIn, a
career-networking Web site with 85 million members. It too is
considered a strong IPO candidate.
Wiseman said Facebook would gradually roll out the redesign
over the next year, giving users the option to switch to it
immediately if they like.
Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg was set to discuss the
changes on CBS's "60 Minutes" on Sunday night.
(Reporting by Sarah McBride; Editing by Marguerita Choy)
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