Facebook Add Legacy Contact Support

Today we’re introducing a new feature that lets people choose a legacy contact — a family member or friend who can manage their account when they pass away. Once someone lets us know that a person has passed away, we will memorialize the account and the legacy contact will be able to:

  • Write a post to display at the top of the memorialized Timeline (for example, to announce a memorial service or share a special message)
  • Respond to new friend requests from family members and friends who were not yet connected on Facebook
  • Update the profile picture and cover photo

Facebook Newsroom

I wanted to try this out before writing about it, but it looks like the functionality is taking a little while to roll out. I’ll write another post once it finally makes it’s way to my little corner of Facebook’s world.

I’ve personally heard the anger and frustration that a lot of people have towards Facebook and the length of time they’ve taken to introduce this first step, but I’d much rather they took their time with a ‘measure twice, cut once’ approach rather than their usual ‘move fast and break things’ (an actual company motto until 2014).

One line that really stood out to me:

Alternatively, people can let us know if they’d prefer to have their Facebook account permanently deleted after death.

Will family members be told that this is what’s about to happen if they report a Memorialization Request? What about cases where fake Memorialization Requests have been processed, is that person’s account erased forever?

Vered Shavit points out even more unanswered questions about the feature. It does show, however, that there is a team inside Facebook working on this, listening and implementing real features. That’s a good start.