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Facebook is not only a great source for staying in touch with friends, but it is also great for extended families! Here are four features Facebook offers for families:

1) Staying in Touch with Extended Family. Some day we all grow up and fly the coup. Life can lead us far away or we might settle close to our hometown. Regardless of where we nest, social media is now helping families stay connected. Facebook has began targeting families by promoting Facebook Groups for family. To help in creating a group, you can perform a custom search to find people with your last name.

2) Sharing Photos. Sharing photos is a great way to share life. As they say a photo is worth a thousand words. Being able to share pictures to family can make it feel like you are actually living life with someone even if you are thousands of miles away.

3) Events. No longer do you have to call each member of your family to plan a party. Stamps and invitations are a thing of the past. Now you can just create a Facebook Event and invite all your family members. The great thing about this is that you can include all the information you have about the event, then ask you family questions about the rest. For example, before my husband came home from Afghanistan I was planning a welcome home party for him. I created an event on Facebook and was able to ask all his relatives where they wanted it to be and what they wanted it to be like.

4) Apps for family. The Family Tree is an application on Facebook for family members to map, publicize, and share their relationships.  

Here are the main features of the app.
  • Family Tree: You can build a tree that shows all of your family relationships. To help build this tree, the site provides suggestions for possible family members as well.
  • Family Photos: This app pulls together all the Facebook photos your family members have posted and puts it into one place for you to view.
  • Family List: You can see all of your family members in the app by through your family list. In this view you can also see the family trees and lists of your family members so you can learn about their extended family that is outside of yours. For example, my cousin’s family list includes a lot of people from his father’s side of the family that are not related to me. It is fun to see how his family tree is different than mine.
  • Heritage Flags: allows you to select the countries that represent you and your family to share your heritage.