The following announcement was written by FamilyLink.com, Inc.:
PROVO, Utah, April 2 -- Nearly 19 million people woke up this April Fool's morning with an email from We're Related, a service of FamilyLink.com, Inc., informing them that President Barack Obama confirmed them as a cousin on the We're Related application on Facebook Platform. The landing page included a family tree of Obama, complete with the recipient's name and photo at the bottom, connected with Obama.
"I am looking at snow in Seattle & I am a Barack's cousin on April Fool's day. I have been fooled by God & the president," posted one We're Related user.
The April Fool's joke resulted in We're Related's biggest day ever, with five times more traffic than average. At 6 a.m., more than 137,000 people had visited the application. By 10 a.m., We're Related had more than 500,000 unique visitors, with the numbers still climbing (3 million visitors by the afternoon). The overwhelming response validates the interest people have in discovering new family relationships (especially notable ones)!
"Our traffic has skyrocketed to 5 times our normal traffic. Hundreds of thousands of people are visiting the application per hour. Plus we have become a trending topic on Twitter," said Jason McGowan, chief social officer, FamilyLink.com, Inc. and developer of We're Related. "I am ecstatic that it has been so successful, with so many positive comments about the joke."
We're Related is the fourth most popular application on Facebook Platform, and the number one social application for families, with an audience of 34 million people who have defined nearly 200 million family relationships using the application. We're Related helps individuals stay in touch with their families by connecting them to their possible relatives, and also through photo sharing, news feed, birthday reminders, gifts, and more. The email sent this morning mimics the typical relative confirmation emails sent by FamilyLink.com, Inc. to its We're Related customers.
Thousands of people have put their comments about the joke on Twitter, blogs, Facebook, and other Internet sites. Reactions relating to this so-called association with President Obama range from extreme excitement to anger.
For example, since the email went out, many have expressed crushes they have on President Obama:
"Whew!!! I'm glad Barack Obama is not my cousin cause I have a major crush on him."
Many We're Related users hoped this new relationship with Obama would give them privileges:
"We're related to Obama. So I guess I'm going to college after all."
"Barack Obama confirmed you as a cousin on We're Related (from Friendface) I thought this was real. Lincoln bedroom, here we come."
Some individuals have stated their disdain for being related to the President:
"For the record: I am not Barack Obama's cousin no matter what Facebook says."
Since the joke, some individuals have begun to question their family relationship:
"Just got this email from Facebook; "Michael, Barack Obama confirmed you as a cousin on We're Related" .... uhhh Mom????"
We're Related is a free application on Facebook and can be installed here: http://apps.facebook.com/we_r_related.
About FamilyLink.com, Inc.
FamilyLink.com, Inc. is the leading social networking company for families globally. It was formed in 2006 by original founding executives of Ancestry.com and MyFamily.com. The company operates several genealogy web sites and has popular applications on Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Hi5, and Friendster. The company's We're Related application is currently the third most popular application on Facebook and has helped users define more than 150 million family relationships. FamilyLink.com, Inc. also operates the AdMazing ad network that represents more than 200 million monthly impressions on high traffic family history and heritage sites. Genealogy partners include Everton, brightsolid, Statute of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Genealogical Publishing Company, FindAGrave.com, Godfrey Memorial Library, and FamilySearch.