When I post a picture of my kids to Facebook, I tend to tag my husband, my parents and in-laws, maybe even aunts and uncles. If I want them to see the picture, I tag them. Because until yesterday, there hasn’t been a way to officially tag a photo of a child on Facebook without creating an entire Facebook profile for them, which is in violations of the TOS if they’re under 13 — and not something a lot of us are comfortable with.
But now that there’s Scrapbook by Facebook, parents can tag their kids in pictures and keep their photos more easily organized. There are some great aspects about it, but we’re still deciding how many parents will be comfortable with it.
How Scrapbook by Facebook Works
Setting the Facebook Scrapbook up is easy — in your About section of your profile, you’ll find all the info in the Family + Relationships tag.
You don’t have to go back and tag each photo you’ve posted over the last 10 years individually. They’ll all appear a single screen and you can even tag multiple images at once for nearly instant organization.
Once you enter your child’s name — you might feel more comfortable using a nickname or initials instead and I’m glad that’s an option — he or she will now have an official, searchable tag on Facebook which any friend in your network can search by name.
Now, you will have a digital Scrapbook set up right in your photo Facebook albums to help track your child’s growth and keep it separate from your girls’ night out photos, or office holiday party album.
To find your scrapbook later, go back to Photos > Albums and it’ll be right there.
Who is it For?
The obvious benefit is for parents or grandparents who are already using Facebook as a family scrapbook of sorts. Of course even though you’re only sharing with a network of friends, it’s still not as secure as something like the Keepy Scrapbook app, a smart option should you not want to tether your entire life and family history to one social network.
But the other benefit is for family friends. Or, people like me who may want to see photos of my daughter’s friends through their parents, but I’m not close with the family, I don’t also want to see every photo of their siblings, or their parents on their date nights, or their new sofa.
With Scrapbook, you’re able to follow the kid without following the whole family.
Likewise, if you like connecting with a co-worker on Facebook have no interest at all in his kids’ birthday party photos, you can choose to block his Facebook Scrapbook photos from your newsfeed. This seems to be a smart move on Facebook’s part not just for parents, but for their network of friends.
Also fun: you can create a Scrapbook by Facebook for your pet, which is what I did. So yes, we expect to see some funny feeds grow out of this feature.
But what we find most interesting is that one day your teen may be able to assume control of his or her own Scrapbook. That’s a whole post right there.
So. About Privacy.
Of course, there are some privacy and security questions that we always to ask when given the ability to tag and search for kids specifically on any social media network.
One feature that’s great: In Scrapbook, only two people can tag a child or pet, and those people have to be officially linked in their relationship status. I find it very reassuring to know that not just anyone can tag my child’s picture. Though you should check your Facebook privacy settings and make sure you have approvals of all tags of you before they go live, anyway.
(However we have to point out that this two-person limit does make it tricky for blended or divorced or multi-generational families to “share” a child online. In other words, this very modern technology is based on kind of an old-fashioned view of a typical two-parent household.)
We also wonder what this means for ad tracking; will your kid start getting targeted ads the second he turns 13 and opens an account, now that Facebook has determined that he grew up playing baseball, traveling with his family to Europe, and celebrating both Christmas and Hanukkah?
So whatever features you start to use on Facebook, especially new ones, always take that opportunity double check your Facebook privacy settings and stay on top of any changes to the Facebook terms of service and privacy policies. Especially since this kind of tagging could be incorporated into Facebook-owned Instagram before long. That’s always the best first step toward protecting your kids’ privacy.
And of course if you don’t want to share photos of your kids at all on Facebook, or to share them without tagging them, well there’s always those options too.