Have you ever wondered what happens to your Instagram account when you die?
If not, you definitely should because I have! Especially with how much our social lives have transformed and extended online to digital channels.
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Instagram currently has over 1 BILLION active monthly users. And if you’re one of them it will be worth it to know what will happen to your account when you die.
A recent report stated that Facebook sees 8,000 users die daily, leaving behind a number of inactive Instagram accounts. This equals 428 deceased user accounts every hour!
If Facebook keeps to its slow growth and usage decline (which it most likely will) — more users will be dead than alive by the year 2065!
Although Facebook is older and therefore has a larger user base, Instagram is growing much faster than Facebook, gaining about 300 million new active users each month, whereas it’s only 228 million new Facebook users.
Not to mention that Instagram users can generate four times as much engagement compared to Facebook.
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Back to the numbers of the report mentioned above, and the fact that 90 percent of Instagram users are younger than 35, it’s safe to say that approximately 2000 INSTAGRAM USERS DIE DAILY!
So is Instagram slowly transforming to a digital graveyard?
Unlike Facebook and Twitter, Instagram doesn’t reveal much about its death policy. They only offer vague information:
“HOW TO CONTACT US ABOUT A DECEASED USER”
In the event of the death of an Instagram User, please contact us. We will usually conduct our communication via email; should we require any other information, we will contact you at the email address you have provided in your request.”
While Twitter will automatically delete accounts which haven’t been active for six months, Instagram accounts don’t time-out.
Instagram now allows immediate family members (you need to provide proof that you’re an immediate family member of the deceased person) to choose if they want the account to be turned into a memorial account or closed forever.
Make sure you visit these Instagram Playhouses before you die 🙂
Memorializing Instagram Accounts
Instagram will memorialize accounts upon receiving a valid request along with proof of death, “such as a link to an obituary or a news article”. There’s no way to set this up beforehand.
Key features of a memorialized account are:
- The profile of a memorialized account doesn’t appear differently from an account that hasn’t been memorialized. It will basically be frozen.
- Memorialized accounts can’t be changed in any way. This includes changes to likes, followers, tags, posts and comments.
- Posts of the deceased user on will remain visible to everyone they were shared with.
- Memorialized accounts are hidden from public spaces like searches or the Explore page.
- Not even immediate family members are allowed to log into a memorialized account.
- Other users can still send direct messages and pictures to the memorialized account, though no one has access to them.
Deleting Instagram Accounts
The same rules apply if you want Instagram to remove the account – an immediate family member needs to provide proof of death.
Have you ever considered what will happen to your Instagram account after you’ve passed? Have you discussed this with your loved ones? Do you have any directions in your Will for this event? You should.
DeadSocial is an online service that lets you write and schedule messages and assign a “digital executor” who will post these messages on your behalf after you die. These can be goodbye messages, or more specific messages for birthdays or anniversaries.
DeadSocial even offers tutorials on how to create a memorial video, funeral invitations that will get sent out by email and educates on how to write a social media will.
I know this all sounds like super creepy to think of, let alone plan for but in today’s digital age we must always have these safeguards & plans in place.
Would you draft a social media will?
What do you think of Instagram’s death policy? Would you add a “legacy contact” if Instagram had the option?
Let me know in the comments below or DM me!