Two More Facebook Things

First: Facebook is now open to all users.

Carolyn Abram, speaking on the Facebook Blog, has the following to say about the expansion:
Mark would have written this post himself, but is busy helping out with everything going on right now, so I’ve been asked to explain why we’re launching this expansion.

You’ve heard it before, and you’ll hear it again; here at Facebook, we want to help people understand their world. We started at one school, and realized over and over again that this site was useful to everyone—not just to Harvard students, not just to college students, not just to students, not just to former students. We’ve kept growing to accommodate this fact.

This includes your friends who graduated pre-Facebook (yes, there was such a time), your friends who don’t have school or work email addresses, and your friends whose schools don’t give out email addresses. Now you can all connect.

This doesn’t mean that anyone can see your profile, however. Your profile is just as closed off as it ever was. Our network structure is not going away. College and work networks still require an authenticated email address to join. Only people in your networks and confirmed friends can see your profile.

We listened to what you guys had to say and built extra privacy controls that we launched last week. If you’re uncomfortable with regional users being able to see you on Facebook, you can always change your privacy settings to prevent people from finding you in searches and communicating with you. Also, we’ve built out a bunch of tools that will help verify new users and prevent spammers from bothering you. You can read about these tools here.

Facebook is still yours, for you and your friends (all of your friends) to connect with each other and share information.
I think that about sums up my position on the thing, too. It’s pointless and hypocritical to draw imaginary lines around user access based on education when there are so many variables that could keep “legitimately educated” college students from registering. And why is a college-educated old man sketch-ball any less frightening than a non-educated one? Since Facebook still doesn't allow HTML/JavaScript in their profiles, there should be no fear that it will turn into the next MySpace by day’s end. If it does, somehow, I’ll eat something gross. I swear.

I’m glad to see they went proactive with the privacy settings, and I think that should do well to soothe the savage mob. We'll see. What are your thoughts on the issue?

I said there was another Facebook thing, and here it is:

Bob Trahan, a Facebook engineer, and one of the first users back when it was Harvard-only, has created the Facebook Friend Game. It’s a timed quiz game based on your friends’ profile information that has you guessing “Which friend is interested in this?” and so forth. I just started playing it, and it’s worth a try if you have an account. And hey, since this is such a big day for Facebook, even if you don’t have an account, why not sign up?!