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Facebook celebrates with another makeover...

The social networking giant, Facebook, marked its sixth birthday and passing the 400 million member mark by undergoing yet another makeover.

Undeterred by the howls of protest that greeted its previous overhaul just a few short months ago, Facebook is tweaking a host of features, including the top and left  menu bars, the way in which photos are loaded, and the way in which you search.

Here are some of the changes that are being rolled out:

  • In the top menu, you will find your newest notifications, requests and messages. For example, when you receive a Facebook notification about someone writing on your Wall or tagging you in a photo, you'll see a red bubble in the left-hand corner near the search bar. When you click on the icon, you will see a drop-down menu with your most recent notifications.
  • When you type in names on the Search bar, it will auto-complete for people who are closest to you by social proximity, i.e. the people you share the most mutual friends with. Facebook also says that search indexes content like Pages and Applications "two degrees out in your social graph", so when you search, it will return content not just from your own friends but from friends of friends.
  • The left-hand menu has been organized to make it easier to communicate with and discover content from your friends.  Messages and Buddies can all be accessed in one place, to the left of your News Feed.
  • Facebook has recognized the growing popularity of Chat. The left-hand menu will also include a list of some of the friends your interact with most frequently.
  • Facebook has also made it easier to find and interact with applications through an Applications and Games dashboard, accessible through the Applications and Games links on the home page. This dashboard will also display your applications activity to your friends unless you adjust a new Privacy Setting that will keep such information private.

Although it's still too early to gauge a reaction from users, Facebook is steeling itself for criticism. Facebook members are notoriously resistant to change and anything that affects the home page is bound to draw some fire.

After all, when you have 400 million members, if only one-tenth of 1% complain, that's still  40,000 upset people!

Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg remains committed to updating and improving the site. "Users do develop this kind of trust – even though they can be rattled from time to time – that generally things will be better, even if they don't understand it immediately," he said.

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