Facebook's New Scrapbook Tool Lets Families Share Photos Of Their Kids In A Whole New Way

Transitioning from MySpace to Facebook was a bit of a nerve-wracking experience. Virtual groups had formed petitions for middle school students to stay off the ‘book, and since I was a middle school student myself at the time, I didn’t know what kind of LED-brightened future the platform would hold. Years later, however, it’s clear that Facebook’s cool, no-tweens-allowed factor has been replaced by a family-friendly vibe (we've all reluctantly friended our aunts, right) and Facebook’s new Scrapbook tool, released yesterday, is undeniable proof.

The Scrapbook feature is being presented as a new way to organize and post photos of your children. In the past, if proud parents wanted to flood your feed with baby pictures, they would have to upload to their profile or an album, and tag the photo with their partner’s name so that both side of the family and each set of friends could see their little bundle of joy. But because the little ones “can’t” have profiles of their own — technically it's against Facebook’s policy for children under 13 to have them (although I can’t imagine that it would be too difficult to lie about your age to a computer — if my friend’s cat can have a profile, so can your nine-year-old brother) — photos end up getting scattered across albums and profiles, making it difficult for parents to show acquaintances and reluctant co-workers photos of Baby’s first tooth or what have you.

Enter Scrapbook. Facebook product manager Dan Barak found this process frustrating, so he decided to create a system that could streamline and organize users’ family photography. With this new arrangement, parents are the joint administrators for their child’s Facebook presence. Once parents create a Scrapbook, they create a tag for their child, which then allows them to tag Junior in their own albums as well as those of their friends. The result is a centralized stream of pictures, putting all your precious baby photos in one place.

Scrapbook also allows parents to control their child’s photos: Only the parents can tag their own child, and while they retain privacy control of photos that they have posted, they'll also be informed if their kids are tagged in a friends photo or whether that photo’s privacy status has changed. There is also an option for other users to subscribe to Scrapbooks, so that family members can be notified every time a new photo is added.

There are still a few kinks in the project; for example, Facebook is currently working on a way to allow children who outgrow their Scrapbook to take ownership of these photos for their own profiles once they reach the age of 13. Furthermore, TechCrunch points out that this new system is also difficult for non-traditional family structures. Scrapbook only allows two people to control a child’s tag, and then only if they are in a Facebook-official relationship. This means that children of divorced parents or other non-nuclear family structures might not be able to use the Scrapbook option without some discomfort. That being said, Facebook is also allowing joint pet owners to create Scrapbooks for their furry children, so at least they kind of understand what users want.

And while we understand that a child’s privacy is important, we can’t help but feel as if this new system could be used for other life events that we would want more virtual control over, too. For example:

1. To narrate your spring break.

Only tagging flattering, sober photos and leaving the rest out of your Scrapbook? Yes please!

2. To ease into a new relationship.

If you are one of those considerate people who doesn’t want to clog your friends' newsfeeds with pictures of you your new beau or gal, using Scrapbook could help you monitor what is being sent out into the cyber world.

3. To keep track and dispose of all photos of you and your ex.

Because sometimes a girl doesn't need to be reminded of a toxic past relationship when she is just trying to RSVP to a friend's event.

Images: Fotolia, Facebook (2), Giphy (3)