Facebook makes it easier to announce pregnancy

Site adds "expecting" option to its family member section--replete with anticipated date of birth and baby name--which is then published in the member's news feed.

"Mom, I have some big news. Check it out on my Facebook page!" flequi/Flickr

Since 2010, Facebook users have been able to list family members on their profiles. In February, the social-networking site added "in a civil union" or "in a domestic partnership" to its relationship status line.

Now, Facebook lets people announce that they are expecting through a status update that includes anticipated date of birth and name(s). (Being a twin, I am compelled to point out that some will be entering multiple babies/names.)

Screenshot by Elizabeth Armstrong Moore/CNET

An obvious debate quickly ensued, and will likely rage for a good week or two before everyone forgets that there once was a time when such an option was unavailable.

Among the currently trending questions: Is this just another way for Facebook to add to its data pool? Is it at all appropriate to announce pregnancy (or adoption) online? Does this simply serve our growing ability to self-aggrandize? Et cetera.

Immediately after Facebook launched the feature, it was discovered that a technical glitch enabled pranksters to enter their Facebook friends' names as the expected children, but that has since been fixed.

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Of course, the beauty of the system is that the user gets to decide whether to take advantage of the new status option. If you like it, use it. If you don't, then don't. And people can still let everyone know in their preferred way first, before releasing the news in one fell swoop via Facebook.

 

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