It might still be January, but Facebook has decided to introduce a sort of virtual spring cleaning.
The social-networking site, which famously opened its gates to developer applications last May, announced late on Thursday that it will soon be instituting a way for app-happy Facebookers to keep up appearances by relegating many of their widgets to an "extended profile." By clicking the button, you will be able to hide everything except Facebook's own applications and a number of others, and a "Show Extended Profile" button will reveal the entire thing to you or your friends.
AllFacebook noted that this may mean bad news for developers who've created little-known Facebook applications and are counting on viral buzz to grow their products. If those applications are rendered invisible by "extended profile" controls, that viral expansion could be stalled. Aside from that, I think the "profile cleanup" is a great idea. My kid brother's Facebook page is covered in more zombies and vampires than a Mystery Science Theater 3000 double-feature, and it ain't pretty.
But on a closing note, may I offer a plea to the blogging masses: Let's try to stop freaking out over every single announcement of an impending update to Facebook, every set-your-TiVo appearance of an executive, and each new time-wasting developer application.
Mark Zuckerberg's baby is a big deal, and has been a big deal for some time now. But, guys, it's getting to the point where we're monitoring Facebook's every move as though Zuckerberg were Suri Cruise. This might not apply to blogs that strictly cover Facebook, but for the rest of us--let's make a collective belated New Year's resolution to broaden our horizons a bit.
That said, it's a resolution I probably won't stick to.