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# Thursday, September 27, 2007
Facebook Adds A Family Tree Application
Posted by Diane

If you have a Facebook account, you can add an application called Family Tree to your profile that lets you, well, create a family tree. It’s from a new company called iFamily that specializes in developing applications for Facebook.

So far this is more a fun way to share your relatives’ names than a genealogical tool, since you can enter only basic information. You also can select up to three “heritages” (based on ancestral countries of origin) and designate Favorite Family Members (but maybe make sure the unchosen ones can’t access your profile).



Once you add the Family Tree application, you can view others who are using it, but you can’t see their trees—only the heritage and favorite relatives information is visible. Of couse, you need a Facebook profile before you can do any of this.

Family Tree developers promise GEDCOM imports, tree sharing and a family finder are coming.

Even without those genealogist-friendly attributes, Facebook's Family Tree app could be a cool way for the social networking set—which tends to be younger and probably hipper than most—to get into family history research. Users have downloaded the application 20,000 times and created more than 62,000 family tree profiles.

Genealogy Web Sites
Thursday, September 27, 2007 1:58:55 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [6]
Thursday, September 27, 2007 3:39:03 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
But will it work on a MAC? It is dissapointing how ignored the MAC market can be. It is the fastest growing for home users!
William Wyman
Thursday, September 27, 2007 4:25:05 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
I believe it does: Our editor, Allison Stacy, just tested this application on her Mac here at the office, using Firefox.
Diane
Sunday, September 30, 2007 5:15:56 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
I like the idea of Facebook has added this family tree app. I just hope I am considered one of those hip people in the article that would use it (I'm 36). I just get so sick and tired of people always assuming that it's a "young and hip" crowd that oly uses Facebook, Myspace, or any other social networking app. People need to wake up and research just how many different age groups actually uses the top two programs Facebook and Myspace. I will grant you that a younger crowd which may be under 25 uses them but there are still a lot of us "old folk" over 30-35 that use these programs as well. I for one know I could wipe the floor with these "kids" when comes to knowing a thing or two about computers.
Monday, October 01, 2007 9:07:07 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
I have no doubt you could. I'm in my 30s and consider myself young (I'm not sure if I qualify as hip, though). Most people think of genealogy as something only "older" people do, so I'm glad to see a varied age range get involved.
Diane
Tuesday, October 09, 2007 9:51:24 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
There seems to be a half dozen or so sites now trying to merge social and family networking with a touch of genealogy to try to capture younger audiences and lure them into more genealogy interests. It seem doubtful they'll all survive with so many similar services.

This one seems to have an advantage by using the Facebook API and trying to cash in on what is already one of the largest social networking sites. But it sounds like it's lacking the tools to use GEDCOM info yet. Being first doesn't mean much if the features are promises and not there yet.

I'd expect there to soon be a lot of competition for this kind of tool even within Facebook. Paul Allen's World Vital Records and related FamilyLink.com are talking about Facebook implementations. They're one vendor I suspect will get it right at launch and have a good chance of success if they pull off the Facebook integration well.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007 2:56:46 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
iFamily recently added Gedcom Import as well as the ability to view other people's trees with appropriate privacy permissions.
Andrew Merkatz
Comments are closed.