Facebook announced that it is giving its users the option of making their profiles open to total public viewing.
In the old paradigm, 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.
Social networking has become an increased part of the enterprise, as companies use Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and other sites to increase messaging and communication among their workers. While useful, these sites lack some of the business functionality found in enterprise-centric social networking solutions.
Making a Facebook profile totally open to the public is an easy process.
"By changing your Profile setting to 'Everyone,' anyone who finds you through a search on Facebook or sees a post or comment you make can now click on your content and view the elements of your profile you've opted to make open," Mark Slee, an engineer at Facebook, wrote in a corporate blog posting. "People generally won't need to be friends with you or share a common network in order to view your content if you choose the new 'Everyone' setting."
Facebook has been opening itself up lately to a more granular level of user and developer control. On Feb. 26, the site announced it will be opening itself to user feedback on its developing Facebook Principles and Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.
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 Facebook rescinded that earlier position.
For developers, Facebook has released interfaces for the Facebook Platform that allow tinkering with a broad range of Facebook applications, including APIs for Facebook Photos, Status, Notes, Links and Video.