BabyCenter

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BabyCenter
BabyCenter Logo.png
Type of site
Reference pages
Founded October 1997
Owner Johnson & Johnson
Website BabyCenter.com
Alexa rank Negative increase 1,777 (June 2017)[1]
Commercial yes; ad-supported
Registration Required only on forums

BabyCenter is an online media company based in San Francisco that provides information on conception, pregnancy, birth, and early childhood development for parents and expecting parents through 11 country and region specific properties including websites, apps, emails, print publications, and an online community where parents can connect on a variety of topics.[2]

In addition to publishing detailed, medically reviewed information about pregnancy and parenting, BabyCenter also runs social programs and participates in public health initiatives in partnership with nonprofits, NGOs, and government agencies to provide parenting advice. BabyCenter LLC is part of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies.[3][4][not in citation given] Users of the website can sign up for free weekly email newsletters that guide them through pregnancy and their child's development.

History[edit]

Founding[edit]

BabyCenter was founded in October 1997 by Stanford University MBA graduates Matt Glickman and Mark Selcow, who recognized a need for information about pregnancy and parenting on the internet. BabyCenter was initially funded through $13.5 million in startup capital funding from venture capital firms, including Bessemer Venture Partners, Intel, and Trinity Ventures. The funds were used to open the BabyCenter Store in October 1998.[2][5][6]

Growth[edit]

In the early years of its operation, BabyCenter offered multiple resources and services for parents, including a website that provided medically reviewed information and guidance to new and expectant parents on such topics as fertility, labor, and childcare; a weekly email for pregnant women tailored to their week of pregnancy (based on their pregnancy due date); and community groups and chat rooms for pregnant couples and parents to discuss pregnancy and child-rearing strategies.

The site grew quickly, and by early 1999 had 175 employees and an annual revenue of $35 million. In April of that year, the two founders sold BabyCenter to another website, eToys.com, for $190 million in stock. Twenty-three months later, in 2001, shortly before declaring bankruptcy, eToys sold the site to Johnson & Johnson for $10 million.

Starting in 2005, BabyCenter launched an expansion plan, extending its global network to Australia, China, and eventually India, staffing each outpost with local editors. In 2007, BabyCenter launched a Spanish language website as well as its first mobile site. BabyCenter released My Pregnancy Today, its first mobile app, to Apple’s App Store in August 2010 and to the Android market in April 2011. The app provided daily information, nutrition tips, advice relevant to the user’s week of pregnancy, and 3-D animated videos showcasing a baby’s development in utero. In 2015, BabyCenter released Mom Feed, its first mobile app for parents of toddlers and older children (ages 1 to 8). Mom Feed offered personalized, stage-based information as well as content from the BabyCenter Community and Blog in a real-time stream.[7][8][9][10]

Content and products[edit]

Websites[edit]

BabyCenter has 11 country and region-specific websites around the world, including sites for the United States, Canada, Australia, Brazil, India, Malaysia, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Latin American and the Arabian Peninsula. Parents can find parenting and pregnancy advice in eight languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, French, German, Hindi, and Malay (Bahasa Malaysia).[11]

BabyCenter content for each country- or region-specific site is written by an editorial team based in that country or region. Medical and health content for each site is reviewed by a medical advisory board based there and adheres to that country or region’s medical standards. For example, the U.S. site works with and follows the recommendations of such U.S. medical authorities as the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Congress of Obstetrics & Gynecology and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine.

Community, blogs and social[edit]

From its earliest days, BabyCenter has had a community area that allows people to join a group of parents with children born in the same month, known as a Birth Club. BabyCenter launched a blog called Momformation in 2007. Eventually, the name was changed to BabyCenter Blog. BabyCenter has a presence on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and LinkedIn.[12][13]

My Pregnancy and Baby Today App[edit]

The app is available in six languages, although not all features are supported for every market. Initially the apps only featured pregnancy articles that could be found on the BabyCenter website, but over the years the feature set has expanded to include a growing list of app-specific tools such as a photo journal for pregnant women, a photo journal for documenting a baby’s first year, and an "is it safe?" tool to answer safety-related questions about pregnancy.[14]

Awards and recognition[edit]

In 1998, BabyCenter won a Webby Award for Best Home Site. Since then, it has been nominated for a Webby Award 18 more times and won either a Webby or a People’s Choice Webby Award 11 times – including a People’s Voice win in 2016 for Best Family/Parenting website.

BabyCenter has also won awards for its editorial content. In 2015, BabyCenter won five Digital Health Awards for content about autism in children. In 2016, BabyCenter won seven Digital Health Awards: four for videos about the aches and pains of pregnancy, baby sleep, and the walking milestone in child development; two for articles about baby sleep training and sleep apnea in babies; and one for the BabyCenter mobile app My Pregnancy & Baby Today.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Babycenter.com Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved June 1, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b Sinton, Peter (January 27, 1999). "E-Tailing's Rising Stars / BabyCenter is one of many riding the boom in Internet sales". San Francisco Gate. 
  3. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/19980815000000*/http://babycenter.com
  4. ^ "Site Information for: babycenter.com". Alexa Internet. 2007-12-05. Retrieved 2007-12-05. 
  5. ^ Glickman, Matt; Selcow, Mark (March 8, 2010). "BabyCenter: Causing a Cyberbaby Boom". Virtual Advisor. 
  6. ^ Szadkowski, Joe (May 19, 1998). "BabyCenter a treat for expectant parents". The Washington Times. 
  7. ^ Johnson, Robert (October 24, 2004). "Bringing Up Baby (Act II)". New York Times. 
  8. ^ Regan, Keith (March 1, 2001). "eToys Spins Off BabyCenter". eCommerce Times. 
  9. ^ Shields, Mike (August 25, 2010). "BabyCenter Launches App". AdWeek. 
  10. ^ Moses, Lucia (April 5, 2015). "BabyCenter blues: A massive millennial publisher with growing pains". DigiDay. 
  11. ^ Johnson, Lauren (March 23, 2015). "How Johnson & Johnson’s BabyCenter Thinks Local by Going Global". AdWeek. 
  12. ^ Dworkin, Jodi (July 2012). "Babycenter.com: New parent behavior in an online community". The Forum for Family and Consumer Issues. 
  13. ^ May, Jeff (July 14, 2008). "J&J's BabyCenter dusts off new social networking features". NJ.com. 
  14. ^ "How Johnson & Johnson’s BabyCenter conceives its mobile applications". Appolicious. June 17, 2011.