In response to expectant parents creating “illegal” Facebook profiles for their in-utero offspring, Facebook recently added the “Expected: Child” option under “Family.” Rolled out sometime in the past week, parents-to-be can now announce their news through their own profile instead of signing up for a false account by choosing the minimum age of 13. Prior to this addition, Facebook had begun to delete the accounts claiming they were in violation of the social site’s terms of service.
To list your soon-to-be bundle of joy, simply update your “Friends and Family” section of your profile by adding “Expected: Child.” Here, parents can also add a photo, the name of the unborn child if they have one and the expected due date. While it may seem like a relatively mundane new feature that Facebook execs quietly introduced, it has sparked some controversy from critics who say that the newest feature encourages even more oversharing from an already social- media-obsessed society; they claim that adding your unborn child to your Facebook family tree can backfire if the pregnancy doesn’t go as planned. While the same can be said about declaring an engagement or wedding on Facebook that could end in a break-up or divorce, reactions proved to be much stronger when a potential new life was the subject. As soon as the news of the latest Facebook feature hit mainstream media, news outlets from the Huffington Post to CNN began dissecting the implications of publicly announcing your new pregnancy on the social network.
We think a TechCrunch.com writer summed it up best: “you can’t ask for a better customer acquisition strategy than getting them hooked while they’re still in the womb!” Whether or not you choose to break your baby news through Facebook’s newest feature is up to you, and we’re sure that most expectant parents are aware of the inherent potential consequences of choosing Facebook as their messenger.
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