Facebook looks to Twitter with site changes

Why buy Twitter, when you can be Twitter? That seems to be Facebook's logic, as it today launches some very Twitter-like features.

One of the reasons for Twitter's explosive success has been its popularity among famous people. Tens of thousands have signed up to read 140 character missives from the likes of Stephen Fry and Jonathan Ross.

Facebook is now looking to take advantage of such star power, by introducing new profiles and Twitter-like feeds for famous people and major organisations. Taking over from its previous Pages function, the new system will look and feel like a friend's profile, and let celebs share updates and photos and other all-too-necessary details with anyone who signs up to their feed, without publicly displaying their entire profile.

"This means that you can find out that Oprah is reading a book backstage before a show, CNN posted a breaking story or U2 is working on a new song, just as you would see that your friend uploaded new photos from her trip to Europe," Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg wrote on his site's blog.

The new system will also let the site's less famous users better control who can see their profile page and what they see of their friends. Zuckerberg added: "You can decide you no longer want to get updates from your old friend from high school who you rarely talk to, or you can filter the stream to only see updates about your family members."

The new home page will be rolled out across the site from next week.

Click here to read five things you may not have known about Facebook.