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New controls for approving posts and pictures before they're posted to your profile. (Credit: Facebook)

Sure, there was an earthquake on the East Coast just a little bit ago, but did you hear the big news today? You’ll soon be able to approve or reject photos or posts that your Facebook friends tag you in before anyone in sees them in your profile.

It’s part of a broader series of changes announced by the company today, aiming to address longstanding criticism of the privacy settings and controls on the dominant social network. Among other changes, the company will move profile controls from an obscure settings page to the page where you actually edit your profile — making it much more clear how to determine who can see which portions of your profile.

The options for sharing will initially be “public,” (a change from the previous “everyone”), “friends” and “custom,” but Facebook is also promising more fine-grained controls over time, in an implicit acknowledgment of the impact of Google+ and its Circles feature on the social networking landscape.

“This dropdown menu will be expanding over time to include smaller groups of people you may want to share with, like co-workers, Friend Lists you’ve created, and Groups you’re a member of,” writes Facebook’s Chris Cox in the post outlining the changes. “These will make it easy to quickly select exactly the audience you want for any post.”

See his full post for the full rundown. Also see coverage by Business Insider, CNet, and Search Engine Land.

It should be interesting to see how this impacts the viral nature of Facebook posts and pictures, as they wait for approval in a user’s queue before showing up in that person’s profile.

What do you think? Will this change how you use Facebook, or how much you use it?

The company says the changes “will start to roll out in the coming days.”

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