updated 11:25 pm EST, Thu December 20, 2012
New features deployed to less than one percent of users
Answering the call from users, Facebook is testing some new functionality to its user pages. Instead of the current six clicks to upload a picture to the service, a bulk uploader has been added to simplify photo album creation. Additionally, a small amount of users are being treated to a new Timeline page, with all user posts loaded into a single, chronologically-ordered feed. Privacy controls are now readily available and easily configurable to users, along with a new "untagging" tool that lets people untag themselves in others' pictures. The changes are being rolled out gradually.
Facebook confirmed to ABC News that it was conducting the trials. The Timeline trial replaces thumbnail navigation with a tab-based interface and makes all profile page information available with some scrolling, and not scattered like in the existing lineup.
New, much more accessible and understandable privacy controls will become available in the form of a padlock icon next to the users' name. From there, they can find out who else can see what they post, visit their own page from the perspective of a visitor, discover who can contact them and quickly block people they don't want to hear from.
Electronista has spoken with a Facebook representative who told us that they were seeing "unexpected stress on the servers" from the bulk upload tool, and some changes would be implemented to it before release to the general user base. The new Timelime is expected for all users "sometime in the first quarter of 2013, after we fix some outstanding items."