Earlier this week, Facebook added an option to user profiles that allows expectant mothers to add their upcoming child to the family circle. Mothers or fathers can add the chosen name for the unborn baby as well as the due date under the “Friends and Family” tab. While a new profile isn’t created or needed to add the upcoming child, the standard non-picture Facebook avatar appears on the user page along with information about the child. After adding the information, it appears in the Facebook news feed for all friends to view.
When the product was launched this week, a glitch appeared in the programming and allowed users to name friends as upcoming children. The glitch also sent a notification to the person listed at the expected child. It appears that this glitch has been corrected though. Facebook likely launched support for this feature to combat Facebook pages being created for babies and children as Facebook regulations require an age of 13 to start a Facebook page. When unborn Marriah Green “created” a Facebook page last month with the help of her mother and posted status updates from the womb, Facebook closed and deleted the profile page after Marriah racked up about 260 friends.
Since December 2010, Facebook has allowed users to link pages with family members and added options for “domestic partnership” as well as “civil unions” a couple months later. Family members appear underneath the main profile picture in addition to other groups created to show off specific relationships. Facebook did not announce the addition of the expected child feature to the public and there’s no indication that these additions to the family can eventually be turned into official Facebook accounts. Critics of the new feature are quick to point out the impersonal nature of the announcement within a Facebook news feed.