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Facebook rolls out face-lift for profile pages

CEO Mark Zuckerberg gives sneak peek of profile pages' new look during an interview on "60 Minutes," but you can get the new layout now.

Mark Zuckerberg's profile page as viewed with Facebook's new profile page layout.
Mark Zuckerberg's profile page as viewed with Facebook's new profile page layout.

Facebook unveiled a redesign for members' profile pages today that puts a greater emphasis on photos and sharing personal information at the top of users' pages.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is previewing the new look tonight for Lesley Stahl on "60 Minutes," which runs on CBS at 7 p.m. (CNET News is published by CBS Interactive, a unit of CBS.)

However, users can get the new layout now by going to https://www.facebook.com/about/profile/ and clicking the green "Take the tour" button.

This preview video below gives an overview of how the new page is expected to look and function.

In the redesign, photos take a greater prominence, expanding in size and moving to the top of the page. The "Wall" and "Info" buttons that currently run horizontally across the top of the page have been moved to a column under the member's photo. "Message" and "Poke" buttons have appeared at the top right of the page, perhaps part of the social network's push toward "seamless messaging" across different forms of communication.

In a company blog announcing the changes, Facebook engineer Josh Wiseman said the top of the new profile page will be dominated by a new introduction that will include basic information about the member, such as where they live, hometown, education, and marital status. A horizontal bank of recent photos in which the member is tagged anchors that introduction.

The redesign also includes a "Featured Friends" tool that lets you "highlight the friends who are important to you, such as your family, best friends or teammates," Wiseman wrote. "Create new groups of friends, or feature existing friends lists."

A new feature allows you to feature projects you created at work or school--or musical acts or sports teams you're interested in.

A new "infinite scroll" feature promises to make it faster and easier to browse photos. It allows users to locate people on Facebook by searching by name, hometown, school, or a number of other dimensions.

Facebook launched a redesign in May 2008 after months of teasing users with ambiguous screenshots. In March 2009, it pushed out an unpopular face-lift that seemed to have been inspired by Twitter. A relatively minor redesign in October 2009 divided the home-page news feed into "top news" and a more real-time "recent activity" view.

Zuckerberg's rare TV appearance is his first since the release of "The Social Network," the unauthorized film about his founding of Facebook that has been both praised by reviewers and criticized for what some say is an unduly negative portrayal of the young founder.

Updated at 1:20 p.m. PT with Facebook's announcement and at 1:45 p.m. with instructions on how to view the new layout.