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Facebook to share data with Instagram, relax email rules

  • Facebook is set to combine user data with that of recently acquired photo-sharing service Instagram and will relax restrictions on emails between members of the social network.

    Facebook also announced on Wednesday it was considering scraping a four-year old process that allows the social network's estimated 1 billion users to vote on changes to its policies and terms of services.

    In a statement, Facebook said it may share information between its own service and other businesses or affiliates that Facebook owns to "help provide, understand, and improve our services and their own services."

    One of Facebook's affiliates is Instagram, a photo-sharing service for smartphone users that Facebook acquired last month for $715 million.

    The change could pave the way for Facebook to build integrated profiles of its users to include personal data from its social network and from Instagram.

    The move is similar to a decision announced by Google in January, which combinse users' personal information from its various Web to provide a more customized experience.

    Facebook also said it wanted to relax restrictions on how its members contact other members using the Facebook email system.

    Facebook said it wanted to get rid of a setting that allows users to control who can contact them. The company said it plans to replace the "Who can send you Facebook messages" setting with new filters for managing incoming messages.