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New Facebook memorial feature might actually be helpful

We spend a lot of time criticizing Facebook for all of its mishaps. And believe me, the criticism is well-deserved. From the Cambridge Analytica debacle to tens of millions of accounts being hacked, Facebook has earned its cone of shame. But when the company does something good for its users, we’ll tell you about that too.

Facebook is rolling out a new feature that will be helpful in the most stressful of times. It’s a way for people to pay respects to someone who has passed away.

Facebook introduces Tributes

The new Facebook feature is called Tributes. It’s designed to work with accounts of users who have passed away.

If you don’t know what happens to a person’s Facebook account when they die, it becomes “memorialized.” Memorialized accounts are a place for family and friends to gather and share memories.

Since people are still able to post on a memorialized accounts’ timeline, Tributes can separate those posts from original content. Now, all posts made after the day an account is memorialized will be placed in the Tributes section.

Click or tap here to learn more about Tributes from Facebook. One thing to note is, the Tributes feature isn’t available to everyone yet. You might see a message letting you know it’s not available in your area, but Facebook is working to bring it to everyone soon.

One thing everyone should do right now is designate a legacy contact. It’s an important step to make sure your account is handled properly after you’re gone. Facebook said that legacy contacts will have more control over Tributes’ posts than the rest of the account.

Adding a Facebook legacy contact

Facebook offers a way for you to designate a legacy contact. This person who can manage your social media account if you should pass away.

The legacy contact can do things like write a pinned post for your profile as a farewell message or as a way to let your friends know the details of a memorial service. Your designated person can also respond to friend requests, update your profile and cover photos, and request the removal of your account.

There are limits to what the legacy contact can do. He or she won’t be able to access your messages, remove or alter past posts, or delete friends.

Here’s how to set it up: Go to your general account settings and choose “Manage Account.” Use the “Choose a friend” box to add your legacy contact.

That person will receive an email explaining how the process works. You might want to check with that friend or family member before you add them to make sure they’re willing to handle the responsibility.

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