by Robert van Alstyne
- Consumers tired of being besieged by baby pictures every time they fire up Facebook are taking matters into their own hands with Unbaby.me. The quirky Chrome extension removes photos of babies from Facebook news feeds, replacing them with images of cats, bacon and other jokey material.
- The cheeky creation of three childless New Yorkers, the service works by searching for caption keywords like “months old” and promises to create a Facebook world where its users “don’t have to look at all of your friends’ annoying kids.”
- Within a week of its August 1, 2012, launch, Unbaby.me’s website had already been viewed 300,000 times and its extension had garnered more than 19,000 downloads (NYTimes.com, 8 August 2012).
WHAT THIS MEANS TO BUSINESS
- While Unbaby.me is essentially a joke, its quick spread speaks to underlying truths about consumers’ current prickly relationship with Facebook. Once a haven for anything-goes dialogue between college-age adolescents, the mega-site is now a connective hub for all, which means plenty of white noise and differing conceptions of what constitutes agreeable (as opposed to annoying) sharing.