Facebook has announced a feature which hands over some control of an account if the owner passes away.
Called the 'Legacy Contact' the feature allows the user to choose a loved one or relative who will then be able to perform a limited number of actions after their death.
Explained in a blog post, the feature will come into play once a person has requested that an account be memorialised.
"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"
It's a small, but significant step towards handing over more control of a person's account after their death. While the control options are limited, the chosen contact will also be able to download an archive of the person's profile including images. They won't be able to see messages however.