Facebook now allows its users to choose “legacy contacts” to manage their accounts after they die.
Legacy contacts will have the ability to post messages atop the deceased user’s timeline, respond to new friend requests, and update profile pictures and cover photos. In other words, if you opt to choose a legacy contact, make sure it’s someone you really trust, otherwise your digital afterlife could get hilarious and/or messy.
“If someone chooses, they may give their legacy contact permission to download an archive of the photos, posts and profile information they shared on Facebook,” read Facebook’s note on the matter. “The legacy contact will not be able to log in as the person who passed away or see that person’s private messages.”
Users can also opt for Facebook to delete their accounts after their demise. The “Legacy Contact” option is available in the Security section of your Facebook settings.
Facebook isn’t the first service to offer the ability to “death-proof” accounts. Google includes an “Inactive Account Manager” with options for deleting data and notifying trusted contacts if the user doesn’t log in for a preset period of time. And if the tech giants are layering in these features, hopefully the makers of smaller apps will follow suit.