Facebook is bringing a new feature to memorialized profiles, that allows people to pay tribute by sharing posts while the original timeline is preserved.
Memorialized profiles – Facebook accounts belonging to users who have passed away – have been around since around 2015, when Facebook launched the ability for users to leave legacy contacts. As there are currently over 30 million people who view memorialized accounts to post stories remembering celebrities, friends, or family members, Facebook is rolling out a new feature to help keep an original timeline as it was.
As Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg explains in a recent post announcing the new feature, the tributes section expands on memorialized accounts, “creating a separate tab on memorialized profiles where friends and family can share posts — all while preserving the original timeline of their loved one.” This allows people to “see the types of posts that are most helpful to them as they grieve and remember their loved ones.”
In addition to the tributes section, legacy contacts will be given more control over memorialized accounts, as they are given the ability to “moderate the posts shared to the new tributes section.” They can change tagging settings, remove tags and edit who can post and also who can see posts. It might be hard for friends and family to see certain content if they’re not ready, so legacy contacts can manage content until they are.
Of course, legacy contacts can also update a deceased person’s profile picture or cover photo, or pin posts to the top of the profile. The latter is useful for things like information about an upcoming memorial service, for example.
Also, parents who have lost children under 18 can request to become their children’s legacy contact.
Finally, Facebook is now only allowing friends and family members to request to have an account memorialized. If an account hasn’t been memorialized, Facebook uses AI to help keep it from showing up “in places that might cause distress” – i.e. recommending that the person is invited to events, or sending birthday reminders for the person to his or her friends.