Paying homage to those who have passed away but still have an active account on Instagram, the social testing service is soon rolling out 'Account Memorialisation' tool. Though the new feature was on the cards for some time, it has been sped up in wake of thousands of COVID-19 deaths across the globe.
The social networking site that has over one billion active users, has also outlined the way in which an existing account can be memorialised once the user passes away. Speaking to BuzzFeed News, Liza Crenshaw, a spokesperson for Instagram, said: "We've been working on these updates for some time, though this is one — among others — that we've accelerated in light of COVID-19 to help support our community during a difficult time."
'Remembrance' tag added to Account memorialisation
The new tool will add to the current memorialization alternatives at Instagram, which freeze the account in time and stop anyone from making any alterations to it. Content from memorialized accounts also no longer appears in Explore feeds.
Even though, Instagram had an account memorialization feature but lacked visual elements to help identify memorialized profiles on the platform. The new tool would be coming with a 'Remembering' tag below the user's profile image so as to help other users know that the account has been memorialized and the person has passed away. It would also feature a new pop-up cover with a flower icon to any new profile visitors.
The text on the page of the account reads: "This account has been memorialized. Memorialized accounts are a place to remember and celebrate someone's life after they've passed away".
Confirming the move, reverse engineering expert Jane Manchun Wong, posted an update on her twitter feed about the new tool. "Instagram is working on account memorialisation disclaimer: I'm not actually dead, only in the inside," tweeted Wong.
Instagram policies on Account memorialisation
According to the Instagram policy, once the accounts get memorialised, it doesn't allow anyone to log into the account. "All the content shared by the deceased person will stay but the profile will no longer show up on Instagram's Explore section. Also, it is worth noting that the images, comments, followers, current display picture, and privacy settings cannot be modified once the account gets memorialized," mentions the social networking site.
"To memorialize the account of a deceased person, Instagram requires a valid request along with a proof of death, such as a link to an obituary or news article, the deceased person's birth certificate, proof of authority under local law that you are the lawful representative of the deceased person, or his/her estate," the IG policy states.
In a tweet posted recently, Instagram's PR handle wrote: "Yes, we're making changes to help people identify if an Instagram account belongs to someone who has passed away. We'll have more to share on this at a later time."