Facebook has always had one of the most restrictive, boilerplate profile designs in social networking, eschewing MySpace's gaudy horror show for a staid, largely unpersonalisable blue and white look. The latest redesign, however, has a carousel of pics at the top of your profile page that has inspired artists, funsters and assorted showoffs to break the mould.

The first to spot the redesign's potential was French artist Alexandre Oudin (pic 1, above). He's simply detagged himself from all other photos and uploaded a main image of 180x532 pixels and five 97x68-pixel photos for the carousel. Bravo, monsieur.

Oudin's example soon fired the imagination of others, as spotted by TechCrunch France (Google translation).

If you want the look yourself but can't be bothered with all that resizing, have a gander at Zach Greenberger's Profile Banner app. That'll stretch any image you have to the right size for your carousel, but it won't change your main image a la Oudin.

In other Facebook graphic news, Paul Butler, an intern on the company's data infrastructure engineering team, has created a graphic visualisation of how people are connected to others in different countries. It shows strong links between North and South America, across South East Asia, and between Australia and New Zealand -- all picked out in soothing blue on black. See the hi-res version here.

"What really struck me," says Butler, "was knowing that the lines didn't represent coasts or rivers or political borders, but real human relationships. Each line might represent a friendship made while travelling, a family member abroad, or an old college friend pulled away by the various forces of life."

Perhaps the most interesting element, as with the Earth at night where cities are highlighted by the light they spew into space, is the areas that are blacked out. Unlike in NASA's famous image, China and Russia are completely dark to Facebook, as is much of Africa.

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