Facebook’s Baby Bump

27 Jul

Or: My Newsfeed is a Mommyblog

Baby Doll by Black Glenn

Photo credit to Black Glenn

Recently, my Facebook newsfeed has been taken over by babies.  From, “I’m pregnant!” announcements to “First time in the bumpee!” pictures (yes, most baby-related posts are accompanied by exclamation marks), my newsfeed has been turned in a mommyblog.

I’m 27, so, yes, this is the time when a lot of my age-mates are having babies.  But, I think there’s more to it than that.  Because, most of my friends… they’re not having babies.  They’re finishing grad school or climbing the corporate ladder.  People with babies make up a very small portion of my friend list, but they’re all over my newsfeed.  What’s especially strange, these friends didn’t appear on my newsfeed before they had kids.   It’s like getting pregnant increases your Klout score.

Baby Announcement by Amemone Letterpress

Photo credit to Amemone Letterpress

Clearly, there’s something going on here – and I think it has to do with EdgeRank.  For those of you who don’t live your lives through a screen, EdgeRank is the algorithm by which Facebook determines which of your posts show up on which of your friends’ newsfeeds.  The higher a post’s EdgeRank, the more people who are likely to see it.

A post’s EdgeRank changes when people like it or comment on it.  The more likes or comments, the higher the EdgeRank.  Have you ever noticed that most of your posts get very little feedback, but some of them get a ton?  It’s because they hit an EdgeRank tipping point.  Facebook isn’t like Twitter, where tweets live or die on their own merit.  Facebook actively controls the virality of your posts, exposing them to relatively few people at first.  If enough members of that beta group engage with your post, it’s pushed out to even more people’s newsfeeds.

Baby Blues by efleming

Photo credit to efleming

From my, very unscientific, observations, I’m convinced that this baby news deluge is happening because babies are EdgeRank bait.  From the initial pregnancy announcement on, baby posts are catnip for the like button.  Why?  Because there’s nothing more likeable than someone sharing their genuine joy and excitement.

Have you ever seen an “I’m having a baby!” post get less than 20 likes?  Most of the ones on my newsfeed make it up to 60.  In this situation, a like is digital shorthand for congratulations.  And saying “Congratulations,” when someone announces their pregnancy is as engrained in our culture as saying “God bless you,” when someone sneezes.

Facebook Like ButtonSo, the first people who see the baby announcement like it and the EdgeRank increases, and then it gets shown to more people who like it, increasing the EdgeRank yet again, etc.  Eventually, the post’s EdgeRank gets so high that nearly everyone on the poster’s friend list, even people with whom she never interacts, sees the baby announcement.

So, that’s how the first baby update from your long-lost childhood friend makes it onto your newsfeed.  But what about the others?  Why does Facebook think that you care to see the belly shot?  Or the messy post-labor picture?  Because you took the initial bate.

Mom proudly watches over by adam.declercq

Photo credit to adam.declercq

That like that you gave the baby announcement, it was you opting it to receive more content from that person.  Liking something doesn’t just tell the person “congratulations” or “I understand” or whatever else you mean for the like to convey, it also tells Facebook that you like seeing that person’s updates.  Trying to keep you hooked, Facebook pushes more of that person’s updates to your newsfeed.  And, since people who are having babies understandably post a lot about their babies, your newsfeed now contains a lot of baby-related posts.  And, some of them are cute or funny, so you like them.  … And you’ve opted in, again.  So the baby-related content increases, ad nauseam.

I fear that this post has come off as a little anti-baby.  That I sound a bit like a “child free by choice” activist who’s trying to ban babies from Facebook.  That’s not the case.  In fact, I like babies, and it’s that liking that’s gotten me to this baby-swamped newsfeed.

Questions of the day: Is your newsfeed covered in babies?  Or is there something else that’s taking up a disproportionate amount of space, maybe weddings or the election?  What have you, unintentionally, opted in to receive?


Formerly MaggieCakes, Maggie (not Margaret) covers technology’s impact on culture, specifically on how we interact or connect with each other.  Have a question or an idea you’d like me to write about?  Leave a comment, or send me an e-mail: moc.teragramtoneiggam@eiggam

104 Responses to “Facebook’s Baby Bump”

  1. Eileen July 27, 2012 at 7:05 am #

    EdgeRank explains so much…..

  2. Marty July 28, 2012 at 9:12 am #

    super blog post. very interesting!

  3. Barb Weir July 28, 2012 at 4:13 pm #

    It all makes sense now..Congrats on Freshly Pressed! 🙂

    • Maggie O'Toole July 29, 2012 at 7:51 am #

      Thanks! Getting Freshly Pressed always feels overwhelming, but in the best possible way!

  4. bethanyd28594 July 28, 2012 at 4:14 pm #

    Thank you for explaining this. And yes, baby pics are all over. But please explain why someone would post a picture of their naked baby? Come on.

    • Maggie O'Toole July 29, 2012 at 7:53 am #

      I’m not sure why they do it, probably because they think it’s harmless enough. Not sure if it technically violates Facebook’s terms of service, though.

  5. Mom Meets Blog July 28, 2012 at 4:28 pm #

    Ugh! Yet another reason to hate the “like” button. I deliberate very carefully now before I hit that button because of the floodgates it can open, Congrats on the FP!

    • Maggie O'Toole July 29, 2012 at 7:54 am #

      Yeah, it’s gotten to the point where you should think before you like. But, I wish there was a way to tell the person you liked it, without telling Facebook that. A way to like something without opting in to receive more of it.

  6. shejj July 28, 2012 at 4:28 pm #

    I’m 19 and my Facebook page is filled with babies as well. Most of my high school classmates are either pregnant, have got their first child and there are a few that are on their second already.

    • Maggie O'Toole July 29, 2012 at 7:59 am #

      Well, I guess it makes me lucky that I might it this long before the baby invasion began! But, (showing my age here), Facebook was just starting when I was 19, and it was still in the time when you needed a college ID to get on, which probably cut down on the baby content.

  7. Loni Found Herself July 28, 2012 at 4:30 pm #

    Babies are definitely everywhere on FB. And, like you said, a small proportion of my friends are actually having them. THIS is why.

    Thanks,

    • Maggie O'Toole July 29, 2012 at 8:00 am #

      Sometimes I’d like to be able to opt in or out of receiving updates on topics the way we can with news from certain friends. Like, show me less about babies, so me more about books.

  8. shewritesatnight July 28, 2012 at 4:33 pm #

    I have to agree with Eileen, never heard of EdgeRank but it explains so much…thanks for clearing that up =) and about the baby thing, you’re right, a like equals a congratulation, so with those awesome stalking techniques of Facebook (sarcasm…) you see who likes what and it ends up an your newsfeed and maybe you too will end up congratulating with a like. But babies sure are cute, so yeah…=)

    About your question, there was a time when all of a sudden everyone changed their status to “in a relationship” or “engaged” or posted pictures about a recent wedding. I was annoyed to a point that I abandoned Facebook for quite some time, just to recover from the fact that everyone shoved their happiness on to my newsfeed while I was a desperate single. Hard times they were, but life goes on…xD

    Cheerio 😉

    • Maggie O'Toole July 29, 2012 at 8:06 am #

      I also went through the “everyone is engaged” phase and it made me sad until I realized that it was really only like 3% of my friends list, and none of them were people with whom I was actually real life friends.

      I’ve read somewhere (and I can’t find the link) that Facebook purposely shows you stories that will encourages you to post things. So, if it shows you friends updating their relationship status, it might be prompting you to update yours. It if shows you a lot of new profile pictures, it might be a hint for you to get a new one. It’s annoying. I’ll get involved in a relationship (or change my profile picture) in my own good time. Don’t rush me!

  9. Rohini July 28, 2012 at 4:41 pm #

    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!
    Love your post, well said! I am 27 too, and suddenly all my friends are popping babies. The baby pictures and posts on joys of motherhood have taken over my Facebook news feed. I love babies, and I will probably have kids in the future, but i find all of this baby news too overwhelming–I feel bombarded!

    • Maggie O'Toole July 29, 2012 at 8:09 am #

      The weird thing is, if it wasn’t for the great recession slowing down our generation’s path to adulthood, we probably would have experienced this baby overload a few years ago. So, I guess the delay is the one (and probably only!) thing that we should thank the recession for.

      Like you, I’ll probably have kids in the future, but I don’t like the (not-so-subtle) pressure that Facebook’s encouraging to make me have them now.

  10. The Waiting July 28, 2012 at 4:44 pm #

    That really makes a lot of sense. I mostly only post on FB about my baby now that I have one, so I’m sure a lot of people are tired of hearing about her. But my logic for doing this is reflective of my current opinion of FB: it has jumped the shark and is no longer a place where real connections are made and where authentic dialog can occur. This is true at least for me because whenever I log on, I am lamblasted by political and religious statements contrary to my own (and stupid quotes and someeecards posts) that do nothing but annoy me. That’s why Twitter is my social network of choice. Facebook is just a good place for me to share photos and milestones with family and close friends, but Twitter is where I’m actually me.

    Great post! Congrats on FP and thanks for not hating on the babies 😉

    • Maggie O'Toole July 29, 2012 at 8:15 am #

      I love the expression “jump the shark.” I’m trying to make it happen the way Gretchen’s trying to make fetch happen.

      You’re right about Facebook not being a place of dialogue. I’ve noticed that, ironically, the tech community discusses Facebook news of Twitter rather than on Facebook. On FB, it’s so hard to have a discussion that doesn’t get threadjacked or to get outside of the echo chamber of your friends list.

      And, let’s be honest…. if I had a baby, it probably post a new picture of her about every 20 minutes! Because, it really is amazing how quickly they grow and change.

  11. Mrs. Roberson July 28, 2012 at 4:52 pm #

    It all makes sense now! First it was engagement and wedding announcements, and now it’s the babies – even though relatively few of my actual close friends are having kids. I’m going to have to watch how I use the “like” button from now on. Thanks, and congrats on Freshly Pressed!

    • Maggie O'Toole July 29, 2012 at 8:20 am #

      I wish Facebook explained these underlying metrics to people, so that they knew what clicking like meant. Glad I got to fill you in on it, but it shouldn’t be such a secret.

      Getting Freshly Pressed feels like a holiday! It’s silly, but I’m sitting here in my pajamas smiling from ear to ear.

  12. anecdotaltales July 28, 2012 at 4:55 pm #

    If one more person gets pregant/ gives birth/ engaged, I’m putting my face in an actual book and leaving it there.

    • Maggie O'Toole July 29, 2012 at 8:32 am #

      Haha! I never make the Facebook = book connection anymore.

  13. Kiya Krier - Runs With Blisters July 28, 2012 at 4:57 pm #

    I have decided that I’m not a fan of the edgewhatever. Now, my newsfeed consists of updates for only 15 people. Since I see only their posts, I only interact with those posts, so I in the future I only see posts from those people. It’s a horrible cycle. Dislike 😉

  14. Anita Neuman July 28, 2012 at 6:31 pm #

    Well now, that is just fascinating! My husband has tried to explain all of this techno-mumbo-jumbo to me before, but usually when he starts talking in his “work” voice, I glaze right over and go to my happy place. You, however, have explained all this in a delightful way! Thanks! And huge congrats on the FP!!!

    • Maggie O'Toole July 29, 2012 at 8:35 am #

      Thanks! I try to make tech accessible. I know that I tend to write about some pretty wonky topics, but I think that understanding the STEM stuff is important to understanding what’s going on in our culture. I guess I’d like for Maggie (Not Margaret) to be the “Math Doesn’t Suck” of tech blogs.

  15. Rhyann July 28, 2012 at 7:01 pm #

    I have definitely noticed that in my newsfeed. I feel, as well, that I am baby swamped. Since I’m only in my early 20s I find it a bit disconcerting that 50% of my posts appear to be baby related (although many seem to get married/have children younger where I’m from). I’d agree with you that I’m not a baby hater or anything, but being young and single, I don’t necessarily wish to be bombarded with babies every time I log into my account. Thanks for the interesting post!

    • Maggie O'Toole July 29, 2012 at 8:37 am #

      The age that people get married and have kids is so relative. Actually, I’m a bit worried that my friends and I are putting it off too much. Like, by the time we all decide to have kids, we’ll need fertility treatments.

  16. Katherine July 28, 2012 at 7:09 pm #

    Wow! This is so interesting and explains so much!!

  17. Peaches July 28, 2012 at 7:14 pm #

    Thank you!!!! for explaining edgerank.

    • Maggie O'Toole July 29, 2012 at 8:38 am #

      Wow, four exclamation marks? No one’s ever liked anything I wrote that much!

  18. Bruce July 28, 2012 at 8:14 pm #

    Thanks for the info. I have kids (they’re big now) and I like photography. I have an incredibly quiet Facebook page mostly for staying in touch with o’seas relatives. Having ‘liked’ a couple of good photos of things or kids, I now get heaps of baby photos or landscapes. Time for some sly blocking or whatever works? EdgeRank…hmm. Bruce

    • Maggie O'Toole July 29, 2012 at 8:40 am #

      If you’re being bombarded with pictures from only a few people, you can tell Facebook that you’d like to see less from them. But, if it’s a general thing, I don’t know if there’s a solution. Pictures tend to have a higher EdgeRank than text as it is, so they’re likely to continue. Sorry I don’t have a real solution!

  19. Dienna July 28, 2012 at 8:16 pm #

    I hate how Facebook decides what it thinks I should like. Let me be the one to decide that…thanks! I’ve put a lot of the baby updates on hide. Yes, I’m one of the “childfree by choice,” but I don’t hate kids. I just don’t want to be bombarded by them in my News Feed.

    I feel that these types of posts come in waves—first were the engagement posts, then the marriage posts, then the baby posts. What next, the divorce posts?

    • Maggie O'Toole July 29, 2012 at 8:43 am #

      Yes, Facebook has decided that it knows what you like better than you do. In soviet Facebook, image likes you… or something like that.

      I’m guessing that there won’t be a wave of divorce posts, because it’s kind of weird to like those. What does a like on a divorce post mean? Congratulations? Sorry? Also, I think most people tend to hide those types of relationship changes from their newsfeeds.

      • Dienna July 29, 2012 at 4:10 pm #

        Not necessarily—I tend to see a lot of “baby mama/daddy” drama in my feed too. Not everyone has the discretion to keep things private!

  20. onlyrealtalk July 28, 2012 at 8:27 pm #

    i am currently having the same issue with my news feed ugh every time i log on i see another picture of a baby bump or another in the bathroom with my baby on my hip picture this generation is on a down slide not to say babies aren’t blessing but so are education and careers and marriage!!

    • Maggie O'Toole July 29, 2012 at 8:45 am #

      I hope our generation’s not taking a down turn! But, you’re right — education, careers, and marriage are great things!

  21. lachavalina July 28, 2012 at 9:34 pm #

    I have the same thing with weddings and this explains a lot. I’ve been inundated with wedding update posts this summer from a couple of people who I, frankly, barely know. Maybe it’s time to thin the friend list!

    • Maggie O'Toole July 29, 2012 at 8:47 am #

      I hate defriending. (Probably part of that has to do with the vanity of my Klout score.) But, I’ll admit to blocking certain offenders from my newsfeed.

      • lachavalina July 29, 2012 at 4:01 pm #

        I’ve been known to do that, too. 🙂 Probably the more socially acceptable solution.

  22. ccpruett July 28, 2012 at 9:50 pm #

    oh.my.lord. I have been making comments to everyone about this lately. I mean, to be fair, a LOT of my friends are poppin’ out kids these days, but holy smokes, every other post is a picture of a baby (and we all know how many pictures new parents take of their first kid! haha) EdgeRank explains soooooo much. Great post. And congrats on FP!!

    • Maggie O'Toole July 29, 2012 at 8:48 am #

      Before I wrote about this, I asked a number of friends if they were experiencing the same thing. The answer, from everyone, was an overwhelming yes.

      You’re definitely right about the number of pictures that new parents take. But, with digital photography, there’s no barrier to doing so. I can’t blame them, because I’d be doing the same thing in their place.

  23. MegsFitness July 28, 2012 at 9:59 pm #

    i had no idea about EdgeRank – I just thought my maternal clock just found a new way to prod me. Great post and congrats on earning a Freshly Pressed entry!

    • Maggie O'Toole July 29, 2012 at 8:49 am #

      The worst is when you get the ads for singles sites next to the baby pictures on your newsfeed. Enough to make you maternal clock start freaking out!

  24. Mercedes July 28, 2012 at 10:46 pm #

    I find it eerie when people on my friends’ list post “I’m pregnant!” or imply that notion by taking a photo of their baby bump. But this isn’t because I hate babies. It’s because I’m nineteen and so are the majority of the people on my friends’ list.

  25. itssrijana July 28, 2012 at 10:50 pm #

    edge rank explains things a lot ..

  26. elvishjesusfreak July 28, 2012 at 11:42 pm #

    Whoa! I had no idea about EdgeRank! Everything makes more sense now… But yes, my Facebook is covered with babies and engagements currently. A WHOLE LOT of engagements and weddings this summer, it’s ridiculous!

    • Maggie O'Toole July 29, 2012 at 8:50 am #

      It might seem like a whole lot, but it’s probably really a relatively small number that Facebook just keeps shoving in your face.

      • elvishjesusfreak July 29, 2012 at 10:05 am #

        Well, compared to how many friends I have you’re right but I’ve had 15 friends get married or engaged this summer. Which is a lot..

  27. C.M.Hardin July 28, 2012 at 11:58 pm #

    You’ve added creases to my brain today with this EdgeRank information. I’m shunning FB, but I’m not sure how long I can hold out with the DTs. So awful, and yet you can’t look away. Not the babies, but FB in general. With four kids, I love babies, as well. None of mine are babies anymore. The youngest is toddler-ish. My protest stems from a desire not to engage in the mommy wars (which often follow the announcement), 2012 political season insanity, and someecards. EdgeRank. Painful to know we’re the source of our own destruction, but isn’t that always the case? *sigh* 🙂

    • Maggie O'Toole July 29, 2012 at 8:53 am #

      DTs? Thankfully, I don’t think I’ve seen the mommy wars on my newsfeed, but I’m sure they’re coming. Maybe in a few years, once some of my friends have settled into out there parenting styles.

      Yes, it’s annoying when you realize you have no one to blame but yourself. Oh, and Facebook — you can always blame Facebook.

  28. simplysmashed July 29, 2012 at 12:29 am #

    Same age and have the exact situation. Babies, getting married, look at what little Tommy did!! Started using Twitter more and Facebook less because of it. Great post and was just thinking about this recently. Glad you wrote about it. 🙂

    • Maggie O'Toole July 29, 2012 at 8:54 am #

      I find myself moving to Twitter, too. It’s so much better for participating in a topical conversation. Sometimes Facebook seems like a bit of a shouting match with people waving pictures all over the place to get your attention.

  29. Scintillatebrightly July 29, 2012 at 12:52 am #

    Does edge rank only work for top posts? I thought FB was supposed to post everything to your news feed if you have “all” set up for everyone which I did. Until I got sick of everyone.

    • Maggie O'Toole July 29, 2012 at 8:57 am #

      Facebook publishes almost everything to your timeline, but very little to your friends’ newsfeeds. Even switching your newsfeed to most recent doesn’t let you see everything. The only was to see everything is to read that annoying little ticker in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.

      • Scintillatebrightly July 30, 2012 at 10:53 am #

        I had no idea! Thanks for teaching me something new.

  30. katinuggs2010 July 29, 2012 at 12:53 am #

    I am 20 years old and am having the same problum with my newsfeed. I live in a very small community and many people don’t continue their education after highschool. I have all my friends from high school telling me how having children is just the most amazing thing they ever did, which I can respect, emediately followed by questions on why Im not married and pregnent, which I cannot. I am currently persuing an education so that when I do have children, I can provide a better life for them than that of a fast-food worker. Why cant they see this?

    • Maggie O'Toole July 29, 2012 at 9:02 am #

      I guess everyone thinks that their own choices are the right choices — that’s why they make them. It must be frustrating that they can’t respect your choices, though. I’d suggest maybe trying to become more a part of your campus community. You might find that you have a lot more in common with the people there. After all, they’ve made the same choices that you have.

      It’s hard growing apart from your high school friends. I struggled with it at your age and I remember one of my aunts telling me that it was okay, that everyone went through it, and that I shouldn’t feel bad about it. It was probably one of the best pieces of advice that I’ve ever received.

  31. mirrormon July 29, 2012 at 1:12 am #

    i m getting married news is all over my newsfeed all the time…probably because of the edgerank ….good post… love the third photograph…baby with big green eyes.
    keep writing
    http://mirrormon.wordpress.com/

    • Maggie O'Toole July 29, 2012 at 9:04 am #

      Thanks! I found it via Flickr’s Creative Commons advanced search. It’s great for finding pictures to accompany blog posts.

      • mirrormon July 31, 2012 at 3:31 am #

        great… the photograph engine will come in handy… thanx:)

  32. Small Group of Thoughtful People July 29, 2012 at 1:31 am #

    Great post! Yeah, this is definitely interesting — I’ve been talking to some friends about this very same phenomenon. What’s really important to note is that what’s going on in the news feed really isn’t a representation of the spectrum of what people are doing out there. Does anyone know if “Most Recent” changes all that?

    • Maggie O'Toole July 29, 2012 at 9:05 am #

      Most Recent shows you more, but not everything. If you really want to see everything, look in that little ticker in the upper right-hand corner. Of course, then you’ll see how boring everything really is and be glad of some of the filter that Facebook does for you!

  33. Karen July 29, 2012 at 2:40 am #

    Very interesting and I suspect very true. I am so NOT a huge fan of FB anymore!! Thanks for sharing!

  34. mstorelli July 29, 2012 at 3:12 am #

    Apparently I’m not the only one who didn’t know about EdgeRank. It’s very interesting. I actually have had babies on my newsfeed for about a year. The best posts are the ones that state – everyday – what the status is on the baby bump as well as invites the world into the drama. “30 weeks in two days! I’m so proud of my baby, I don’t care what anyone says. I love you *enter name of baby*!”

    • Maggie O'Toole July 29, 2012 at 9:07 am #

      No, you’re definitely not the only one who didn’t know about it — it’s a pretty wonky topic. And, by bests posts, do you mean worst posts?

  35. Jennifer July 29, 2012 at 4:07 am #

    See, I thought that Facebook was trying to make me want a baby so that I would help to increase the population and thereby add to the number of eventual Facebook users. Thanks for clearing that up. 🙂

    • Maggie O'Toole July 29, 2012 at 9:08 am #

      Haha! I wouldn’t put it past them — especially with what’s been happening with their share prices recently. Sounds like an Onion story waiting to happen!

  36. mystudentstruggles July 29, 2012 at 5:09 am #

    Babies are everywhere on fb, and I’m only 19 so it’s worrying how many of my friends are getting/have got pregnant in the past year or two. Also, those with the babies seem to upload 60% more photos than everyone else because their child is always doing something new and exciting (to a parent anyway) which means my news feed is never without at least two baby photos 😀 Great post and congrats of FP

  37. A Londoner from Afar July 29, 2012 at 6:34 am #

    Thanks for explaining how everything goes. I am aware of this, but most people will not be, and it is always useful to be familiar with. 🙂

  38. Pedro Alvarez Fotografía July 29, 2012 at 6:54 am #

    Pues no sabía de la existencia del edgerank…muy interesante.

  39. SighYuki July 29, 2012 at 7:34 am #

    There is no un-bitchy way I can say this, but you have my deepest sympathies. I hate women in pregnancy. I hate their constant “look at me I’m spawning” blatherings, I hate how they mentally change, I hate how they physically change – pregnant bellies are really gross looking, I think, and I hate seeing shots of it. The most disgusting pregnant belly shot I have seen was when the mother was either extra unlucky/receiving a hard dose of just deserts or close to full term, and the way the lighting was angled, it looked like a solar eclipse. And the belly was the only thing I could see. It was even more gross than the bare tits included picture that followed, and I usually find that more gross.
    I don’t honestly blame edgerank as much as the attitudes of people in the first place – suddenly women think they’re so important and wonderful now they’re up the duff, and many people seem to enjoy this (though I swear sometimes it’s just out of politeness). I don’t care what people say – sure it’s a natural thing, but that doesn’t automatically make it wonderful. Pooping and cancer are also natural things, but you don’t see people raving on about how great that is. Well maybe sometimes the pooping depending on what kind of friends you have.

  40. frizbeee July 29, 2012 at 7:40 am #

    Wow, never knew about the edgerank thing! This isn’t so fair I guess. That is why I like twitter better.

  41. redcactus July 29, 2012 at 8:25 am #

    Thanks for explaining exactly how it works. I was aware there was some kind of ‘post control’, but now I know exactly how it chooses the posts I have to see (and sometimes endure) on my newsfeed.
    Regarding babies, I have nothing against them, in principle, but some mothers are a bit too “holier than thou” for my taste, and, even if most of them are not, those few manage to annoy me to an unbelievable grade 🙂

  42. ninano July 29, 2012 at 9:37 am #

    I have really wondered, why some people seem to take over my wall completely. Perhaps this is the answer. Thank you for sharing your observations.

  43. myquarterlifequandaries July 29, 2012 at 9:38 am #

    I wonder if anyone has faked a baby bump on facebook in order to promote something else going on in their life? Maybe I should do that for my blog…

    • Maggie O'Toole July 29, 2012 at 9:46 am #

      Haha, when I told my boss that I was interested in this topic, she suggested that someone might fake a pregnancy to test its impact on social reach. It’s a good idea, but I think it would cause entirely too much drama in my life. My big, Catholic family would freak out!

  44. Liz Gray July 29, 2012 at 9:52 am #

    So interesting. Always was curious the way FB decides to shuffle things in my newsfeed. Now I know. Great post!

  45. Maggie July 29, 2012 at 10:55 am #

    Thank you for this explanation. I was starting to feel like everyone else is having babies but me (I’m almost 30). And honestly I’m getting a little tired of seeing SO many baby pictures. Like, I get it, your baby is cute. Let’s move on.

  46. Mike Bahl July 29, 2012 at 11:42 am #

    Reblogged this on Mike Bahl and commented:
    I’ve noticed this as well and have been forming a post/theory about how FB baby pics lead to other people who are not quite ready to have a baby having a baby. More or less the theory goes: You see the cute pics and your heart strings are tugged and then you go on ahead and pop one out because all the images look like it’s a pretty easy thing to do and even when they complain in text about dirty diapers or whatever, it’s kinda funny and you hit the like button then too. It’s a weak theory with no way to prove or disprove its merit. But I’ve felt those strings pulled several times and can feel myself being pushed in that direction. Maybe similar things happened in the past with photo albums being passed around amongst friends when they’d all get together, but most of the babies in my feed I would have no awareness of without FB (none of my closest friends have babies and this phenomenon exists in people I only know have lives because of FB).

  47. Martyna July 29, 2012 at 12:02 pm #

    Smart, not exaggerated:) Just great. And regarding your comment on leaving replies… Congratulations on being freshly pressed!

  48. Moderator a.k.a owner July 29, 2012 at 12:58 pm #

    I could not agree more ! babies and marriage announcements !! Sometimes it makes me think if I wasnt doing the right thing not getting pregnant for crying out loud! your post gives me an assurance of people like minded existing !! 😛

  49. hanna505 July 29, 2012 at 1:49 pm #

    wow awesome post!

  50. Miranda July 29, 2012 at 1:56 pm #

    I’m wondering if anyone has made the same conscious decision that my husband and I. I don’t WANT to post a ton of baby pictures and information to all of my friends and family because the majority, while finding my daughter adorable, really don’t care (I’m saying this as I’m about the post my once-in-a-while random baby post). We opted for a private photo website and public blog that I have to invite people to have access. That way, I’m not spamming up FB feeds but also, I don’t want to post my daughter’s photos and information all over the public web like crazy, thereby taking away her choice later on to be a public or private person. Inevitably, you can’t avoid being on the internet. But I don’t want her to be a 12 year old that realizes EVERYTHING she has ever done is online for the world to see, much like Jon and Kate’s children. Otherwise, the alternatives are to unfriend people, not post anything on FB (which our families would revolt over), or try to make custom posts EVERY time. And that’s just too much work.

    I also read that photos have a higher chance of showing up on news feeds than a basic status update. And really, if you have a baby, you are posting a photo with that status update. People DEMAND it.

  51. spamfred July 29, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

    The same thing is happening to me and I’m the same sort of age as you…I thought I was going mad!!!

  52. TrishaDM July 29, 2012 at 3:20 pm #

    This is awesome and so true. At least, my newsfeed is also overwhelmingly baby, but the proportion of people with babies is not related to the number of posts I see! I am glad I am not alone!

  53. rantsandmorerants July 29, 2012 at 3:53 pm #

    Hi Maggie, great post. Unfortunately I have to agree with you! I’m 20 and only too familiar with Facebook friends covering my news feed in pregnancy and baby stuff everything else seems to be overshadowed but I think that might have more to do with the type of people that went to my high school…..!

  54. lemwriting July 29, 2012 at 4:19 pm #

    I never knew about edgerank! I had no idea…

  55. goodbearings July 29, 2012 at 5:13 pm #

    We’re in the same age bracket and my FB NF updates are just as you’ve described. It has become exhausting to the point where now my friends who are newly pregnant avoid posting it on Facebook in an effort to not be so cliché. It seems the FB NF is putting most trends on the fast track to cliché-dom (it’s a place–trust me). Great insights!

  56. Bunny Eats Design July 29, 2012 at 5:21 pm #

    Oh, so babies = klout?

    Call me a heartless childless bitch, but I’ve always wondered if there was a way to block baby related posts from my feed. Does the world really need to know about every new sound a baby makes, every unique shade of baby poop or every baby discovery? Maybe a filtering system like any baby post with more than 20 replies will reach my newsfeed. Anything under the radar, may remain there.

  57. becomingcliche July 29, 2012 at 5:43 pm #

    My news feed is dominated by someecard memes and political junk. From this moment on, I’m Mikie. I don’t like nuthin’!

  58. At Home With God July 29, 2012 at 6:11 pm #

    I do have a number of marriage and baby announcements–but I didn’t realize how Facebook worked so I did find it to be a mystery that I was being flooded with so many people I don’t necessarily hang out with all the time. You have demystified FB for me quite a bit, for that I thank you. Your post was so fun to read. 🙂

  59. steph50 July 29, 2012 at 9:26 pm #

    Thanks for explaining! Here I was thinking the universe was taunting me! lol

  60. fabric July 30, 2012 at 12:40 am #

    You know what it;s funny. Most of my friend’s profile picture in facebook are their baby’s photos. They couldn’t help it but make proud of their babies

  61. Alyssa July 30, 2012 at 3:06 am #

    Once you’ll have your baby; you’ll be able to fully understand those mom who often post some baby stuff on their updates. I bet when the time come, your timeline will be swarmed with your baby’s cute photos and all. Thanks for educating me about EdgeRank, by the way. 😀

    ————-
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    • the_lunatic July 30, 2012 at 11:58 pm #

      Ah yes, now it all makes sense. I was beginning to think the fetuses were taking control but now I know its just EdgeRank

  62. largerthanlifeblog July 30, 2012 at 11:24 pm #

    Thanks for sharing this informative post. Though on FB, I did not have such detailed knowledge…:)

  63. murphymusthavehadkids July 31, 2012 at 8:09 am #

    Interesting! I didn’t know how this works. Now…want to see some baby pics? 😉

    • Maggie O'Toole July 31, 2012 at 7:20 pm #

      Haha, very funny! But, I guess WordPress probably doesn’t have the EdgeRank algorithm, so sure, why not?

  64. Maggie O'Toole August 18, 2012 at 9:36 am #

    Thanks for sharing my post. You’re right about the undemocratic nature of EdgeRank. The majority is held to the interests of the minority. You’ve given me something else to think about.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Facebook’s Baby Bump « Live, Laugh, Love - July 29, 2012

    […] Maggie (Not Margaret) >> Share this:FacebookTwitterMoreEmailPrintDiggLinkedInStumbleUponPinterestRedditTumblrLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. Posted by Mr Asideg Filed in Fun, Humor, People, Life Leave a Comment » […]

  2. My Newsfeed is Curated by “Like”-ers - August 18, 2012

    […] Original Source: https://maggienotmargaret.com/2012/07/27/facebooks-baby-bump/ […]

  3. unlike this » Archive » My Newsfeed is Curated by “Like”-ers - August 19, 2012

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