Yes, each of us will one day shuffle off this mortal coil, but our Facebook profiles can live on forever. The popular social media network now offers users a few options for how their profiles can be maintained after they die. One of the most popular choices is selecting a Facebook "legacy contact."
On Thursday, Facebook announced it will allow users to select from three different Facebook options that activate upon the user's death.
"We heard from family members who wanted to post funeral information or download and preserve photos," Facebook product manager Vanessa Callison-Burch told Slate on Thursday. "We realized there was more we could do."
The first will enable current users to select close friends or family members to act as their Facebook estate holders, continuing the person’s legacy after he or she dies. The contact can post a new cover photo, respond to friend requests and archive a person’s posts and timeline.
Users can also elect to have their accounts memorialized, which anyone can request. Once this happens, only confirmed friends can view a memorialized timeline or find the profile using the search feature.
If users are uncomfortable with the idea of their profile sticking around after they’re deceased, they can have it completely removed by submitting a request. This will completely remove the user’s timeline from the social network when requested by verified immediate family members.
Examples of documentation include a deceased person’s birth or death certificate, or proof from local law enforcement of another person taking over the deceased person’s estate.
There are currently more than 1.39 million active Facebook users worldwide.