Nobody wants to think about death. Grasping the loss of someone is already hard enough. That’s before you have to deal with funeral arrangements, notifying family and friends, and dealing with any of the financial, business or personal accounts that may exist.
Those personal accounts may include any of your social media accounts. Chances are, only you have access to them. What happens to them when you pass away? Do they sit there and collect virtual dust?
This past week, Facebook took a step to solve this problem by introducing a legacy contact feature. This allows the user to designate a specific friend, family member or loved one to access their account after they pass away.
This person will have limited access to certain parts of the user’s account, such as responding to friend requests, editing the profile image and header image, pin posts to the top of the page, and download an archive of the deceased’s posts and photos. The designated person will also be able to delete the user’s account, but they will not be able to view messages.
Once the user has been verified as deceased, usually through an obituary, Facebook will then add a “Remembering” label before the user’s name to signify the account as one in which the person has died.
It should be noted that no ads will be shown on deceased’s page, and nothing from that page will appear in a news feed.
Overall, this feature seems to be an interesting step made by Facebook to help those who are concerned about their accounts when they pass away in the digital age. It puts a “final touch” to that person’s page, and could possibly serve as an online memorial.