In this age of modern technology, our lives are being more and more tied to our electronic gadgets than ever before. There's an app for everything, children have Instagram accounts before they can walk, and now you can even decide who will get the honor of running your Facebook account after you die.
It sounds weird, but no doubt many of you have experienced losing a love one, but having their Facebook account linger on, often as a place where loved ones can express their grief or write their tributes to the deceased. Well now Facebook has taken steps to ensure that your friends and family can still stay connected to a small piece of their lost loved ones long after you pass.
What is it?
This new setting allows you to entrust your Facebook profile to one trusted friend or family member, a legacy contact. Once Facebook is notified that a person has passed away they will memorialize the account and your chosen family member will be able to
- Write a post to display at the top of the Timeline (especially useful for announcing things like memorial or funeral services)
- Respond to new friend requests from family or friends who had not yet connected on Facebook
- Update the profile picture and cover photo
- If the person has allowed then their legacy contact will be able to download an archive of the photos, posts and profile information they had shared on Facebook.
The legacy contact will not be able to log in as the deceased, nor will they be able to see their private messages (was that a collective sigh of relief I heard?)
How can I choose a legacy contact?
To make your selection you need to open Settings, choose Security and then Legacy Contact. After choosing your legacy contact you have the option to send a message to that person telling them that you have picked them to be your legacy contact. You may also give your legacy contact permission to download an archive of the posts, photos and profile information you've shared on Facebook.
Setting up a legacy contact is completely optional, and if someone opts not to choose a legacy contact then their Facebook page will just be frozen, like they were originally, when the die.
Is it available now?
Adding a legacy contact is not available for people in the US, though it will soon be expanded to other countries.
Choosing a legacy contact may seem morbid, and little like something from a futuristic sci-fi film, but in reality it actually sound like a very smart and forward thinking idea from the Facebook team.