Expecting a Baby? Facebook Delivers Expectant Parents Into the Snares of Opportunistic Advertisers

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With the announcement that they are introducing, “expecting a baby,” as a life event option for parents-to-be, Facebook is once again proving that they have mastered the art of capitalizing on their users’ lives. And in true Facebook fashion, they claim that, no, this is just another thoughtful tool for excited expectant parents to share their overwhelming joy with their loved ones…but that perhaps they will consider using it for advertising at a later date. By “perhaps,” we assume that they mean, “definitely.”

In reality, Facebook is slyly rolling out the red carpet for new parents, allowing them to glide down it with all of their revenue-producing personal information in tow. Facebook is known for using the information of their users, or as they’re known by advertisers, “product,” to target ads at them that are tailored to fit their demographics.

Pregnant women are apparently a revenue goldmine, and allowing advertisers access to the earliest announcement of pregnancy will undoubtedly have those advertising execs rubbing their hands together with glee. Pregnancy is one of the few occasions when consumers are prone to straying from their usual brands and trying new ones. The overwhelming changes, anxiety and stress to this huge life change makes expectant parents easily swayed on their purchase options. Charles Duhigg, author of the book, “The Power of Habit,” says that, when it comes to parents-to-be, “There is almost no more profitable, product-hungry, price-insensitive group in existence.” A fact that, we are sure, is not lost on Facebook or its advertisers.

Having information such as the due date of the baby actually helps advertisers target exactly which products will be advertised to the expectant parents, and when. Expectant parents typically have common buying patterns based on where they’re at in the pregnancy. For example, Duhigg states that pregnant women tend to buy unscented lotions in the beginning of the second trimester, vitamins when they hit 20 weeks, and washcloths and hand sanitizers right before they are due to deliver.

So new parents beware, your ability to share your new life change means you are sharing it with many more people than just loved your ones.

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