When you’re planning for the future and making a will, another consideration now needs to be made - who will manage your Facebook account when you’re gone?
Facebook is introducing a new feature specially designed to address the growing problem of what happens to our digital footprint after we die.
The “legacy contact” feature lets you assign a family member or friend as the person who can manage your account after you pass away.
“Facebook is a place to share and connect with friends and family. For many of us, it’s also a place to remember and honor those we’ve lost. When a person passes away, their account can become a memorial of their life, friendships and experiences,” said the engineers who created the feature. “By talking to people who have experienced loss, we realized there is more we can do to support those who are grieving and those who want a say in what happens to their account after death.”
Your chosen legacy contact will be able to manage your memorialised Facebook page which people can use to remember you by. This includes the words “remembering” being added above your name. Alternatively you can choose for your account to be deleted completely.
It might sound a touch macabre, but the chosen person will be able to accept requests from friends or family who you weren't connected with before and post memorial messages to share with them.
Your chosen contact will also be able to update your profile and cover pictures ensuring the lasting images of you online are appropriate.
Whoever you choose won’t be able to view any of your private messages, but they will be able to download an archive of posts, pictures and profile information you've shared on Facebook, if you choose to let them.
Initially, only US Facebook users can set up a legacy contact but it will soon be available more widely.