What Happens to Your Instagram Account When You Die?

Social

Launched in October 2010, it’s been more than a decade since Instagram first graced our mobile phone screens. Since then, everyone seems to have an Instagram account, even your grandmother.

While it has opened a world of possibilities to connect with people, social media also asks us numerous difficult questions. One strange question that we have to ask ourselves is what happens to our Instagram accounts when we die.

Instagram Monitors Accounts for Extended Inactivity

Because of the nature of social media, it is very common for many users to log in to their Instagram accounts after several years of not touching it. For this reason, it is likely that your Instagram account can exist for a long time after you die.

However, after some time of not being in use, your Instagram will be classified as an inactive account. While Instagram doesn’t have a strict policy for inactive accounts, it does tend to intermittently delete inactive accounts, especially if it suspects that you could be a bot.

For this reason, your inactive account will most likely be deleted sooner if you don’t have a history of posting or interacting with other Instagram users. In addition, some people may be able to claim your username if they can prove that they have an official trademark for it.

What Can Be Done With Your Instagram Account After You Die?

Besides allowing it to remain inactive, there are two options which Instagram offers for friends and family members of its users who have passed away—memorialization or permanent deletion.

When your Instagram account is memorialized, the word “Remembering” will be placed in front of your username. With this, followers will be able to know that the owner of an account has passed away.

Aside from this, memorialized accounts will also be monitored by Instagram to avoid any harmful comments that may hurt the ones you have left behind. A memorialized account will still contain the content on your feed, stories, reels, and so on. Friends will also still be able to comment on your posts and read old messages.

After an account is memorialized, the privacy settings will no longer be changeable. However, your family or legal representative can request Instagram to make changes for spaces cases, especially if you are a public figure.

Related: How to Ask Instagram to Delete a Deceased Person’s Account

Alternatively, you may want to have your account permanently deleted after you die. With this, most traces of you on Instagram, including your posts, stores, videos, and private messages will be wiped from Instagram. Unfortunately, how much if your data is deleted depends on what country you’re from and the third-party apps that you are connected.

Who Can Request Changes to Your Instagram Account After You Die

Instagram Account

Upon death, the only people who Instagram lets make decisions about your account are your immediate family members or legal representatives. When requesting for any changes, Instagram requests for proof of relationship in their official form.

To make this process easier, it is best to have in writing what you would like them to do with your account. If possible, tell people close to you what you would like to do with your social media accounts and have it in writing. If applicable, it is best if you include your plans for your Instagram account in your last will and testament and let your legal representative know in advance.

Unless explicitly stated, it is important to note that neither of the options above allows friends or family members to gain access to your Instagram account once you have died.

Leave Instagram the Way You Want

Death is definitely an uncomfortable topic for most people. However, there are plenty of reasons why you should make decisions about what to do with your Instagram account before you bite the bullet.

When left inactive for too long, Instagram accounts become targets of hackers for a variety of reasons. For example, someone can steal your photos and take your identity. Scammers can also use your likeness to scam friends and family members who are aware that you have passed away.

Losing a loved one is an already difficult experience. Grieving in the digital age is a lot more complex. With this, it doesn’t hurt to talk about what you’d like to do in your Instagram account when you’re no longer around to call the shots.


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