Facebook premiered yesterday a tool that will give social media addicts one less reason to fear death: a Legacy Contact option that allows the person you select the ability to change your FB profile into an online “memorialization” after you die (or, delete it entirely, if you choose).
Morbid? Of course. But, realistically, as social networking continues to invade the fabric of our day-to-day lives, providing users with an option to manage their accounts posthumously will be ever more necessary as time goes on.
The Facebook Legacy Contact option is located under Settings > Security in your FB profile (see screengrab below). Facebook is still in the process of rolling this out to everyone; so, it may take a few days to show up for you.
According to Facebook’s blog post on the Legacy Contact feature, the person you choose to manage your profile post-demise will have the ability to:
- Write a post to display at the top of the memorialized Timeline (for example, to announce a memorial service or share a special message)
- Respond to new friend requests from family members and friends who were not yet connected on Facebook
- Update the profile picture and cover photo
Alternatively, FB users have the option to allow the Legacy Contact to delete their entire profile after death, instead of leaving up a memorial page.
Anyone a user assigns to be their Legacy Contact won’t have complete reign on their profile, though; messages will not be shared, and nothing besides the above bulletpoints will be available.
Family or friends will first have to let Facebook know about your death before the Legacy Contact is granted access.