The death of Facebook is something that media outlets have forecast for some time now. To date, they’ve been disappointed.
However, the death of Facebook users is something altogether different. It is also a challenge that Facebook has been having to look to do something about.
Until recently, if a user died, there was a method for relatives to contact Facebook and make them aware, through a rather lengthy and unwieldy process, of their demise. Pages would often be left to waste away into an out-dated reminder of past friends or relatives. In some cases they’d remind people of birthdays that ended in hurt, or users who weren’t aware of the death would leave messages on a page that might cause similar damage.
Some users would create Memorial Groups, or even a Page, but it never really overcomes the issue when people go looking for the original profile. It is also a compromise.
Now, that has changed.
Facebook Legacy Contacts (what a nice way to phrase it) has been introduced.
It lets you (when you’re alive!) nominate a family member of friend to manage your Facebook page if the worst was to happen.
The person you nominate can convert your account to a Memorial Timeline, respond to friend requests from people who may not have been on Facebook at the time you passed away (but may wish to add their thoughts to your page) and can also update the cover and profile photographs.
You can also give the person optional permission to download all your Facebook photographs and posts.
The one thing your Legacy Contact won’t be able to do is use or access your Private Messages (because they don’t actually login as ‘you’, they just get permission to control your new type of account).
You can find full details of how to add a Legacy Contact by clicking the image below but, before you do, we have a few more thoughts about it.
Facebook’s introduction of this feature is a wise move. No more (or fewer) out of date profiles and less time overhead in managing the grief of those bereaved users that have had to get directly in touch with them previously.
Unfortunately, this won’t solve the problem because it’ll suffer from an age-old Facebook user issue…
Facebook users don’t read Facebook News. It will catch on eventually, but it’ll be a long time before knowledge of this new feature becomes widespread – and even that doesn’t mean users will adopt it.
Start by asking yourself these questions:
Were you aware of the new feature?
If you were, have you set it up on your account?
We suspect the vast majority of people reading this article will reply with a no to at least one of the above questions.
It has happened with Timeline changes, resulting in outcry and misunderstanding. It has also happened with security. How many people regularly change their Facebook password or even look at their settings on a regular basis? The answer is ‘not many’.
We would urge all Facebook users to seriously consider using the feature.
Do it now. Don’t put it off, because it has been introduced to save a lot of possible hurt and misunderstanding.