Recognizing Your Family on Facebook

By Julie Zhuo on Friday, May 8, 2009 at 3:07pm

A few months ago, I was thinking about my mother when, at one of our engineering hackathons, I began working on ideas for how to highlight more of the important people in my life. You already could specify if you were in a romantic relationship with someone, so why not also be able to list your parents, children and siblings?

In celebration of Mother's Day on Sunday in the United States and many other countries, we decided to polish off that hackathon code and launch the option for listing your family on your Facebook profile.

Starting later today and through this weekend, you'll begin seeing a new "Family Members" section within the Information tab on your profile. Enter your mother, for example, and she'll be added to your profile. She'll also be sent a request that appears similar to a relationship request. Once she confirms, you'll then appear on her profile, as well, and both of your profiles will be linked as shown below.

You can add as many immediate family members as you'd like, including parents, siblings and children. We also are considering an extended family section for the future. If your kids are too young to be on Facebook, you can still list them on your profile. If you include their birthdays, we'll even show their ages, too.

I'll be linking my profile with my mom's and other family members to show their significance in my life. My mom, Jing, joined Facebook a few months ago and has taken to following my updates in her News Feed. Now, whenever I post photos from dinner or a weekend trip to Napa, I can be sure she'll mention it the next time we talk on the phone. Connecting on Facebook has made it easier for us to keep updated on each others' daily lives.

If you haven't yet connected with your mom on Facebook, invite her to join and add her to your profile. By Sunday, you can also check out the Facebook Gift Shop, where we'll be offering Mother's Day-themed gifts you can send to your mom.

Julie, a designer at Facebook, is sending her mom a dinner invitation, a Facebook family request and a Facebook gift.