The biggest networking site in the world, Facebook with a 1.39 million active users, is leaving no stone unturned to win over more and more people aboard. Shortly after introducing a ‘Buy and Sell’ option in groups a few days back, the site owners have now announced that all users can designate a friend or a family members to manage their account after they are dead.
Beginning today, the U.S. based users of the site have been given the option to choose a ‘legacy contact’ who will later be allowed to accept friend requests, update the cover photo and profile or post to their wall on their behalf even when they cease to exist. This chosen person will also have the option to archive their Facebook posts and pictures. However, Facebook will not allow the legacy contact to access private messages sent between users.
Till now, the site owners after being informed of the death of an account holder, would go on to verify the death and then memorialize the account. After that, the account could be viewed but no edited or managed.
Facebook has fielded “hundreds of thousands” of requests since the social media site began memorializing pages in 2007, Jodi Seth, a spokeswoman for Facebook, said.
“We heard from family members who wanted to post funeral information or download and preserve photos. We realized there was more we could do,” said Facebook product manager Vanessa Callison-Burch.
This is similar to the Google Inactive Account Manager feature introduced by the search giant a few years back.
“The legacy contact designation is part of Facebook’s compassion research initiative, which draws on the work of researchers, engineers, scientists, and psychologists to create a social media environment sensitive to the needs of its users. Facebook has also tweaked its settings to remove deceased users from their “People You May Know” links and birthday calendars. And on memorial pages, Facebook now adds the word “remembering” next to the name of the deceased,” points out the Boston Globe.
The feature will, for now, be available only to 186 million site users in the United States.