Years ago Facebook made a wildly successful data grab by putting About details at the top of the profile. Now with its Timeline redesign‘s “Suggested” sections, Facebook could fill out Graph Search by making it easy to select and show off where you’ve been, what you Like, and what you’ve watched, read, and listened to. And Facebook does more with that data than you might expect.

Facebook’s Subtle, Smartest Move

The year was 2010 and Facebook was in the dark. Hundreds of millions of people had profiles but didn’t fill out their About section with their hometown, current city, relationship status, current employer, education history, or spoken languages. These characteristics help define people’s identities. The data could also be used to personalize content feeds and target ads, if Facebook could just get us to volunteer it.

Screen Shot 2013-03-13 at 2.53.52 PMSo Facebook redesigned the profile in December 2010 to start displaying this info…

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