Facebook introduces features to access a person's account after he or she dies

Facebook's feature, called Legacy Contact, has been available in the US since February and is being launched in New Zealand, Australia and Japan today. Photo / screenshot
Facebook's feature, called Legacy Contact, has been available in the US since February and is being launched in New Zealand, Australia and Japan today. Photo / screenshot

It's normal to make arrangements for your possessions and affairs after you die - and now you can rest assured your online life will be taken care of as well.

Facebook has introduced to New Zealand users a feature that allows a friend or relative to access a person's account after they die.

"By talking to people who have experienced loss, we realised there is more we can do to support those who are grieving and those who want a say in what happens to their account after death," a statement from the company said.

The feature, called Legacy Contact, has been available in the US since February and is being launched in New Zealand, Australia and Japan today.

When notified of a user's death, Facebook will contact their nominated contact and memorialise their profile, adding the word "remembering" above their name.

The contact then has the ability to write a post to display at the top of the late user's timeline, respond to new friend requests, update the profile and cover photos and decided whether or not the profile remains online.

With permission, they can also download an archive of the posts, photos and profile information shared on Facebook.

However, there's no need to worry about embarrassing private chats being accessed in the afterlife - legacy contacts only have limited access to your profile and you can even decide to have it permanently deleted instead.

To set up the feature, open settings, choose security and then Legacy Contact at the bottom of the page. After choosing a contact, Facebook gives an option to message the user and let them know.

Just make sure you choose that contact wisely, as your online legacy could last forever.

- NZME.

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