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07 Oct 2010

Facebook has introduced new features aimed at giving users more control over their information and who can see it.

The biggest change will allow users to map their offline life to the online world through small groups.

Users will also be able to download all the data they have uploaded onto the site.

They will also find it easier to see how individual applications are using personal information, Facebook's chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said.

"The changes today are about giving people more control over how they share in a lot of different contexts," Mr Zuckerberg told BBC News.

"One of the things we have heard is that people just want to share information with smaller groups of people.

"It will enable people to share things that they wouldn't have wanted to share with all of their friends."

He added: "There are some things you are comfortable saying to all your friends at once but a lot of things you only want to share with your close co-workers or your family and there just hasn't been a great way to do that until now."
Behaviour change

The new groups feature will let users form online havens around a discreet circle of people just as they do in the real world from family to work friends and from school friends to friends with a specific interest.

Members will then be able to share information with people specific to that group.

A list feature on Facebook already lets users create subsets of their friends but Mr Zuckerberg said that only about 5% of its 500 million users use it.

"Groups will change behaviour," Augie Ray a senior analysts with research firm Forrester told BBC News.

"It's possible that people will join Facebook because they will feel they can control who sees their information. I am a very open person and blast everything I say on Twitter or Facebook but now something like this will allow people to think more deeply about who will see what they say, and will increase engagement."

England's Mark Lewis-Francis aims to convert impressive form in the heats into gold in Thursday's 100m final.

The 28-year-old clocked 10.15 seconds in winning his first heat in Delhi - his best time for five seasons - and followed it with a 10.20-second run.

Elsewhere, double Olympic gold medallist Rebecca Adlington swims in her favourite 800m freestyle.

The Mansfield swimmer, who has already won two bronze medals, will be pushed by South African Wendy Trott.

World record holder Usain Bolt and compatriot Asafa Powell are both absent, but the main threats to Lewis-Francis' ambitions are still likely to come from Jamaica.

Oshane Bailey was fastest on Tuesday in a time of 10.12 seconds and is one side of the European silver medallist.

Bailey's fellow Jamaican Ramone McKenzie, who caught the eye by sporting a Batman mask in the heats, is on the other.

The trio go in the second of the semi-finals which will begin soon after 1334 BST.

Adlington, who is also competing in the 400m freestyle, recorded a time of 8 minutes 35.82 seconds in qualifying for the 800m final, 1.48 seconds behind Trott.

England team-mate Sasha Matthews and Scotland's Megan Gilchrist will also be on the blocks for the race which gets under way at around 1306 BST.

The medals for the men's 100m freestyle, 400m individual medley and women's 100m butterfly will also be decided in the afternoon session.

South African great Natalie du Toit is also likely to be aiming for her second gold of the Games in the women's 100m freestyle S9 final.

Home nations rivalries will be aired when England and Scotland meet in the quarter-finals of the badminton team competition which begin at 0730 BST.

Northern Ireland's Paddy Barnes takes on Scotland's Iain Butcher for a place in the last eight of the flyweight boxing competition in another all-British clash.

Pakistan's Haroon Khan, brother of world champion and Olympic silver medallist Amir, will take on Gilbert Bactora of Mauritius in another of the preliminary bouts which begin at 0830 BST.

Elsewhere England's gold medal credentials in netball will get a stern test when they take on New Zealand at 0500 BST.

The winners will probably avoid Australia in the semi-finals.

England's Nick Matthew, Peter Barker and James Willstrop fill three out of the four squash semi-final slots with the two matches due to start at 1030 BST and 1530 BST.

In the women's tournament, England is guaranteed to be represented in the final with second and third seeds Jenny Duncalf and Alison Waters playing each other.

And in women's 63kg weightlifting, defending champion Michaela Breeze of Wales hopes to win her third Commonwealth gold medal in an event also featuring Emily Godley of England.


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