What happens to your digital life, especially to your social networking accounts, when you die? Well, Facebook will soon allow you to choose a specific friend or family member to manage your account after you’re gone.
Facebook’s new ‘Legacy contact’ feature explained
Facebook calls this feature your “legacy contact,” and it will appear in the Settings menu. From there, you can select which one of your Facebook friends will be able to control certain aspects like:
- Pin a post on your Timeline (for example, to post a memorial service or a special message)
- Respond to new friend requests
- Update the profile picture and cover photo
Apart from doing this, the legacy contact can also download an archive of the user’s photos, posts and profile, but only if they are given permission by the original account holder. Alternatively, if users choose to, then they can also opt for Facebook to delete their account once they pass away.
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To choose a legacy contact, go to Settings, choose “Security,” and then click on the “Legacy Contact” option from the bottom of the page. After choosing your legacy contact, you will also be given an option to send a message to that person.
Facebook already has a memorialization system in place which allows other people to let Facebook know when users have passed away. After the verification, which is typically done through an obituary or news article, the account becomes memorialized. Such memorialized accounts are not displayed in friend suggestions, ads or other “public” places on Facebook.
To pay a tribute to the deceased, Facebook will also add a “Remembering” tag above the user’s name, and the legacy contact will also have the ability to “pin” a post at the top of their Timeline.
Facebook will be first introducing this legacy contact feature in the U.S., and then it will expand to other countries. Setting up this legacy contact information is optional though.