Facebook users will be able to dictate what happens to their profile after their death, thanks to some new account options. A new Legacy Contact system is being introduced which will allow users to specify who gets control of their account when they pass away, giving more flexibility over the profile contents than the current memorial account list presently offers.
When Facebook is informed a user has died, the social network will immediately notify the legacy contact placed on the account, as well as memorializing the profile. The designated contact will be able to write posts to be displayed at the top of the profile, to share a special message or notify of funeral arrangements for example. The legacy contact can also update the profile picture and cover photo on the account, and respond to new friend requests.
The user can also grant permission to the legacy contact, allowing them to download an archive of post, photos, and profile information shared on the service. The chosen contact will not be able to log into the user's account, posing as the user, nor will they be able to access any private messages sent to or received by the account. Users also have the option of not setting a legacy contact, and instead have their account permanently deleted.
The optional legacy contact system is starting to be implemented in the United States today, with a view to enabling it in more countries in the future.