Instagram has been working on creating “in memoriam” accounts for deceased members of the platform. However, the current situation has reportedly forced them to speed things up. According to the latest report, Instagram wil launch the feature soon due to the increasing number of COVID-19 deaths.
Reverse engineering expert Jane Manchun Wong was the first one to figure out Instagram’s upcoming feature. It appears that the accounts of the deceased members will have a tagline “Remembering” above their name. In addition, there will be a notice reading “Remembering [user’s name]” with a link to Instagram’s Help Center page on this topic.
Instagram is working on account memorialization
disclaimer: I’m not actually dead, only in the inside pic.twitter.com/DVIDLLwTAk
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) April 20, 2020
Instagram continues working on account memorialization
adds this sheet of “Remembering <user>”
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) April 21, 2020
Shortly after Jane’s tweets, Instagram confirmed that they’re indeed rushing to release this update. They shared a relatively vague tweet about it, but an Instagram spokesperson told a bit more to BuzzFeed News. “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,” they confirmed.
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.
— Instagram Comms (@InstagramComms) April 22, 2020
Same as on Facebook, it’s only verified family members with valid proofs who can ask for a deceased person’s account to be memorialized. Sadly, this isn’t one of the shiny new Instagram features aimed to amuse us (and make us spend even more time on the platform). But considering the current situation, it is, unfortunately, a necessary addition to the app.