Women’s Health Magazine
FEBRUARY 12, 2015 | BY ANNA BORGES
Photo: Women’s Health Magazine
You probably don’t spend a lot of time making plans for what happens to your Facebook after you die—because, well, morbid. But a new Facebook policy addresses that (admittedly slightly unsettling) question.
You now have two options: You can choose to have your Facebook deleted permanently, or you can name a “legacy contact”—a.k.a., the heir to your Facebook page who will handle it posthumously. If you choose the latter option, once your account has been memorialized, your Facebook heir has the ability to write a post to pin at the top of your timeline (such as a memorial announcement or special message), respond to new friend requests, and update your profile picture and cover photo. Your legacy contact would not have access to any of your private messages or account details.
All right, it may sound pretty dark to mull over what will happen to your Facebook after you’re gone, but there’s no denying that Facebook’s new policy will make some things a lot easier during hard times. Previously, Facebook offered a basic memorialized account that was viewable but could not be managed. Following input from users who had experienced loss, the company realized there was more they could do “to support those who are grieving and those who want a say in what happens to their account after death,” according to a news release.
Don’t worry: Taking advantage of these features is completely optional, so if you don’t want to consider your social media afterlife today, Facebook isn’t going to make you. But if you do, check out their announcement for more details and instructions.