Leaving posthumous messages for loved ones is nothing new. But now the departed have a new way to communicate from beyond the grave: Facebook. A new app called "If I Die" lets users record messages to be posted on the social network in the event of their death. Here's what you should know about this morbid new app:
How does it work?
If I Die allows you to record a final message to be posted to your wall and send messages to friends that won't go out until you're gone. Once the app is installed, a user designates three "trustees" responsible for verifying his demise with Facebook. "One that's done, the messages will go out in whatever manner has been pre-determined," says Christina Ng at ABC News. The posthumous notes can come in video or text form, and can be scheduled to be posted in intervals — say, every year on your child's birthday — or released all at once.
Who came up with this idea?
The app's co-founder and CEO, Eran Alfonta, got started after two of his married friends "traveled to Italy without their children and narrowly escaped a fatal car crash with a truck," says Zachary Sniderman at Mashable. After the close encounter, the couple asked Alfonta to create a service "where they could record something secret to their kids that would only be sent if they died."
And people are really using this?
Apparently so. The app already has over 4,000 likes on Facebook, and Alfonta expects the service to hit 100,000 users in the next couple of months. "Last words," says the British narrator demonstrating the service in the video below. "We all hope we'll get a chance to say some, but not knowing when or where we're going to die makes it a bit tricky."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Scottish independence is another financial crisis waiting to happen
- 10 things you need to know today: September 1, 2014
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- The 10 best networking tips for people who hate networking
- Why the West should let Russia have eastern Ukraine
- 11 scientific studies that will restore your faith in humanity
- Your literary playlist: A guide to the music of Haruki Murakami
- Hey, grammar nerds! Stop freaking out about 'alot.'
- Fall movie guide: All the films you should see in September
Subscribe to the Week