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Facebook turns 6 with over 400M users, plans redesign


facebook Facebook has turned six, crossed 400-million users and launched another major redesign of its web services to improve users’ ability to navigate and find features.

Also Friday, TechCrunch reported that Facebook is developing a web-based email and messaging system to compete with similar services like Google‘s Gmail, Microsoft‘s Hotmail, Yahoo Mail or AOL Mail. Facebook, which had roughy 200 million users a year ago, declined to comment.

The redesign announced Thursday will be implemented on a rolling basis until all users are included. It features tools to make it easier to find games and applications and to chat and share video.

Facebook also said it was giving people the option to change their privacy settings if they want to keep activity in applications like games private from friends, and it was working to expand controls for specific applications, so users can make some public and some private.

Facebook, which is facing a class action lawsuit from 2007 over alleged privacy violations, kicked up a firestorm of criticism in mid-December when it revised its privacy settings to make more information about users public. Facebook has offered to pay $9.5 million to set up a privacy foundation in the lawsuit, which is ongoing.

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