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Wowzer: Facebook Profiles Are Searchable

Posted on 9.04.2007
Starting today, Facebook is allowing people who are not logged in to Facebook to search public listings - meaning those members who have set their search privacy setting to "Everyone". This is another wonderful way to gain some personal exposure online and shore up your reputation a little (if it needs it) as well as for groups that you are fostering at the popular social network and beyond. That however hasn't stopped scores of industry folks from crying foul over a potential privacy breach.

I'm not sure this argument holds much water however as users of the site will be able to set their privacy settings for another month before search engines will be able to crawl and index these public search profiles. Users will maintain an option to remove their public search listings from search results on Facebook's Welcome page and to remove their public search listings from external search engine results. Most importantly, if you're a member of a social networking site, don't you want to be found?

The upside for those sensitive privacy mongers is that less information will be shown to non-registered members (at most just name and profile picture) and those under 18 will not be included. Facebook will also get these public search listings included at Google, Yahoo and MSN. It will be interested to see how these profiles are made available by these search networks. In a perfect world, this would allow people to easily find and connect with others through Google, Yahoo, MSN and others.

Here's how my profile will look. If you're using Facebook, make sure to poke me and add me as a friend.

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