The year: 2004. The invention: Facebook.8 Only ten months after its launch, Facebook’s
usership had grown to one million.9 Initially only for college students, and then high school
students, two and a half years after its birth, Facebook expanded its registration to everyone.10 A
year later, in October 2005, Facebook Photos made its debut,11 and it caught on like wildfire.
Over the last twelve years, Americans’ social media use has become prolific. Over 69% of
Americans who use the Internet use some sort of social networking site; 66% of those use
Facebook.12 Facebook boasts 1.59 billion active users,13 and Instagram, Facebook’s photography
smartphone app and website, has 400 million active monthly users.14 On any given day, millions
of photos are posted online, including 80 million on Instagram alone.15 These numbers are
particularly significant in the wider context: over three billion people in the world currently have
Internet access.16 That means a third of the Internet users in the world are using social media,
posting over 29 billion photos on Instagram alone per year.17 It is important to note that posts are
not distributed equally among social media users. Pew Research Center identified a subset of
Facebook users dubbed “power users,” who contribute more than the typical user and tend to
specialize in different activities.18
Perhaps most active of all are parents. Studies show that 78% of American moms have a
social media account, and about half use it multiple times a day.19 Facebook-using moms check
the site more than other demographics.20 The current canon on children suggests that “today’s
children are ‘the most watched over generation in memory,’” 21 not to mention the most posted
about. Currently, 81% of the world’s children have an online presence before the age of two, and
that number increases to 92% for United States children.22
Children are posted about so much that it has become a pop culture joke: look no further
than the Google Chrome extension that started out as a third-party Facebook app, UnBaby.Me.23
Designed by developers who lamented that their feeds were being “hijacked by over-sharing
8 Sarah Phillips, A Brief History of Facebook, THE GUARDIAN (July 25, 2007),
9 FACEBOOK NEWSROOM, newsroom.fb.com/company-info (last visited Nov. 6, 2014).
12 MEREDITH RINGEL MORRIS, SOCIAL NETWORKING SITE USE BY MOTHERS OF YOUNG CHILDREN (2014),
FACEBOOK.COM, http://newsroom.fb.com/company-info/ (last visited March 24, 2016).
14 Celebrating a Community of 400 Million, INSTAGRAM.COM (Sep. 22, 2015),
http://blog.instagram.com/post/129662501137/150922-400million [hereinafter Celebrating a Community]; Stats,
INSTAGRAM.COM. https://www.instagram.com/press/?hl=en (last visited March 24, 2016).
15 Stats, supra note 13.
16 Internet Users, INTERNET LIVE STATS, http://www.internetlivestats.com/internet-users/ (last visited March 24,
17 Celebrating a Community, supra note 14.
18 Social Networking Fact Sheet, PEW RESEARCH CTR. (Dec. 27, 2013), http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheets/social-networking-fact-sheet.
19 EDISON RESEARCH, MOMS AND MEDIA 2014 (2014), http://www.edisonresearch.com/wp-
22 Digital Birth: Welcome to the Online World, BUS. WIRE (Oct. 6, 2010),