You may have heard of online social networking site Facebook, but unless you had an email address ending in
.gov, you would have had trouble getting on board. Plus, Facebook pretty much catered only to students and campuses—but it’s still managed to sign up about 9.5 million users and assemble some 500 regional networks of users based on campus and work affiliations.
However, now that Facebook’s wider plans look to be bearing fruition—Yahoo is reportedly wining and dining the company for a $1 acquisition—Facebook has thrown open its pages to anyone with a valid email address.
“We are expanding to respond to the requests of millions of people who want to be part of Facebook, but haven’t been able to until today,” said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder and CEO, in a statement. “About one-third of Facebook’s college users have already graduated and are now interacting with more people outside of their schools and work environment.”
Yeah…but it’s still not quite wide open. New users are still required to prove and affiliation with an existing college or work network within Facebook, and they’re also required to validate a mobile phone number to verify their account.
Facebook profile are only visible to users in the same network and to confirmed friends within the service. With the new expansion, Facebook has launched additional privacy controls which enable users to block other users from searching for their name, to prevent being added or messaged as a friend by other users, and control whether a profile picture is displayed in search results listings.
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