LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Facebook on Sunday unveiled new profile pages that give photos center stage, allow users to highlight important friends and go into far more detail on their jobs.
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