Research Shows Baby Photos Not Really Taking Over Your Facebook Newsfeed

It's just an illusion!

ByABC News
April 11, 2014, 5:11 PM
A mother and son using a laptop.
A mother and son using a laptop.
Getty Images

April 11, 2014— -- It only looks like new moms are oversharing on social media.

In reality, women’s posts on Facebook decrease by half after they give birth, according to research from Meredith Ringel Morris, a computer scientist for Microsoft Research.

"They’re actually not sharing that much, it just seems that way,” Morris told

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"For the most part, new moms are using Facebook to keep in touch with other parts of their life they lost after having kids."

But there's an explanation for that seemingly constant stream of baby photos on your Facebook page. Facebook values photos when it comes to selecting posts that appear in a user’s newsfeed, Morris said.

"A higher proportion of mothers’ posts are photos, and photo posts are shown more prominently in Facebook’s algorithm,” she said.

The algorithm also values posts’ popularity, and –- despite their reputation -– baby posts are among the most popular posts on Facebook, according to her research.

"The most popular post you’re ever going to put on Facebook is the birth of your child," Morris said.

"Even though there are complaints, those posts get many more likes and comments on them than those that don’t mention a baby’s name. So baby posts are actually popular! And that pushes it up in Facebook’s algorithm."

Facebook, meanwhile, did not respond to’s request for comment.

The way women use social media after kids also changes, Morris' recent research shows.

"They’re asking questions, getting advice,” she said. “A lot of the baby-related posts aren’t bragging about their child, but really taking advantage of social media and gathering information."

Women in Morris’ sample -— more than 200 Facebook users -- used the social network to poll friends about car seats and arrange play dates.

The bad news?

It doesn’t look like all those beach vacation snapshots and marathon training updates are an illusion.