AFP - Facebook is revising its privacy settings to give the more than 200 million users of the social network the ability to share as much or as little about themselves online as they want.
Chris Kelly, chief privacy officer at the Palo Alto, California-based company, outlined the changes in a post on the Facebook blog.
Kelly said Facebook would now offer a tiered level of privacy options for its users including "all of your friends, your friends and people in your school or work networks, and friends of friends."
There is also an option to publicly share with everyone on the Web in what is being seen as an effort by Facebook to compete with the hot micro-blogging service Twitter.
"To share with more people and contribute to the general conversation going on in the world, you can select 'Everyone,'" Kelly said.
Kelly said, "the power to share is the cornerstone of Facebook."
"Privacy and the tools for tailoring what information is shared with whom are at the heart of trust."
"We're committed to giving people even greater control over the information they share and the audiences with whom they share it," he said.
"At one extreme, we believe people should have the tools to 'broadcast' information across the Web and make it available to everyone.
"At the other extreme, we want to give people the power to limit who should receive any particular piece of information they want to share," he said.
Kelly acknowledged that the privacy settings on Facebook had become "too complicated" and the changes were an effort to "reduce confusion."
Kelly said the revised privacy settings would be offered first to a select group of users over the next few weeks.
"After the testing and feedback phase is complete, we expect to offer final versions of the tool and the new settings to everyone on Facebook," he said.