Social networking site receives one of the largest updates to date

Social networking giant Facebook has experienced one of its largest overhauls on the site this past weekend, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg spilled all the details on a segment of "60 Minutes."

Lesley Stahl, television journalist for CBS' "60 Minutes," interviewed Zuckerberg about the redesign of Facebook member profiles on a segment that aired December 5. The new design became available this past weekend and puts greater emphasis on profile photos. 

Over the past couple of years, the Facebook team has made several minor to moderate updates that have received mixed reviews from users. For instance, in March 2008, the company released a new user interface after months of "teasing" members with vague screenshots. Exactly one year later in March 2009, the Twitter-like update to the site was launched and received quite a bit of negative feedback. Yet another minor redesign was released in October 2009 where "recent activity" and "top news" were separated on the home page. Other small additions were "friendship pages," showing interactions between users, and the use of geolocation.

This new design, however, is kicking it up a notch with features that make the popular networking site more photo savvy. Member photos are much larger in the new design, and are shifted to the top of the page in horizontal succession where the "Wall" and "Info" tabs used to be. Now, these tabs can be found in a vertical list underneath the members default picture. Directly above the chain of photos is where the members' basic information can be found, such as where they live, what their birthday is and where they work/attend school. 

Other changes include a shift in the location of the "send message" button, which is no longer underneath the default picture. Rather, it is now placed on the far right, top side of the page next to the relocated "poke" button. Mutual friends also appear on this side of the page. In addition, 10 out of a users' total number of friends are listed vertically below the the "Wall" and "Info" tabs on the far left column. A "Featured Friends" tool allows users to note those who are most important to them. 

But the Facebook team didn't just rearrange preexisting features. They also added a few new tricks of their own, such as the option to list musical acts, sports team or projects you're working on and then tag those who may be participating in said project, or those who play on a sports team with you. 

"When you can use products with your friends and your family and the people you care about, they tend to be more engaging," said Zuckerberg during the "60 Minutes" interview. 

One thing users should know about switching to the new format is that it's permanent, so take a look at new profile screenshots or a friend who has taken the plunge before you do, because there's no turning back.

"I'm an Internet expert too. It's all right to wire the industrial zone only, but there are many problems if other regions of the North are wired." -- North Korean Supreme Commander Kim Jong-il

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