To celebrate Mother’s Day this weekend, Facebook announced on Friday that users will soon be able to list their family members on their profile. In the new “Family Members” section, users can add the names of their parents, siblings, and children, just as they’ve always been able to with significant others.
With the number of Facebook users over 35 (and in particular women over 55) is growing rapidly, the option of linking family members on your profile makes sense. Whether or not users will choose to do so will be an indication of how ready they are to more openly share with family – the social awkwardness factor.
We’ve seen the beginnings of connecting with family on Facebook through popular applications such as We’re Related (by FamilyLink.com, with 14 million monthly active users), Family Tree (Familybuilder.com, 3.6 MAU), and Geni (Geni, Inc., 75,600 MAU).
Combined, these apps allow you to find and stay in touch with family, build a family tree, scrapbook family events, and remember family members who have passed away. With Facebook’s new family section, basic features such as Family Status and Family News Feed may no longer be as useful. On the other hand, the introduction of family information in the profile may generate greater demand for family-related apps, as families “become” families online.