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New friend for Zuckerberg: Facebook CEO to be a dad

The social-networking giant's co-founder shared Friday that he and his wife, Priscilla Chan, are expecting their first child -- a daughter. Their dog, Beast, "has no idea what's coming."

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg with his arm around his wife, Priscilla Chan. The two are expecting their first child. Mark Zuckerberg/Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg got a thumbs-up recently from a special girl: his daughter-to-be.

The CEO of the world's largest social network said Friday that he and his wife, Priscilla Chan, are expecting their first child, a girl. "We've already been so fortunate for the opportunity to touch people's lives around the world -- Cilla as a doctor and educator, and me through this community and philanthropy," he wrote in a post to his Facebook account. "Now we'll focus on making the world a better place for our child and the next generation."

As part of the announcement, Zuckerberg said that during a recent ultrasound, his daughter held her hand in a thumbs-up "like," mimicking the icon for the ubiquitous feature used on Facebook. "I'm already convinced she takes after me," he said.

More than 227,610 Facebook users, including company COO Sheryl Sandberg, liked the post within the first hour of its being published.

As one of the world's richest people, and the leader of one of the world's most widely used websites, Zuckerberg, 31, has been in the public eye for all his adult life. Not only did he oversee Facebook's growth, but he's also had several very public life events. His marriage to Chan, his longtime girlfriend who he met at Harvard University in 2012, came just days after Facebook's initial public offering on the Nasdaq stock exchange. He's also written on his Facebook profile about his efforts to learn new languages and travel to different parts of the world. He's even established a Facebook page for his dog, Beast.

Other Facebook executives have also used the social network to share personal details. Sandberg discussed the death of her husband, David Goldberg, in a couple of posts, one of which received 398,892 "likes" and more than 72,000 comments.

As part of Friday's post, Zuckerberg got very personal, revealing that he and his wife went through three miscarriages over the past couple of years as they tried to have a child. He said he chose to share about this to encourage more conversation among other people.

"Most people don't discuss miscarriages because you worry your problems will distance you or reflect upon you -- as if you're defective or did something to cause this. So you struggle on your own," he said. "You feel so hopeful when you learn you're going to have a child. You start imagining who they'll become and dreaming of hopes for their future. You start making plans, and then they're gone. It's a lonely experience."

Zuckerberg didn't say in his post when his daughter is due, but typically people announce pregnancies about a half year before their child is born.