KakaoTalk's "Memorial Profile" Service Boosts User Autonomy | Be Korea-savvy

KakaoTalk’s “Memorial Profile” Service Boosts User Autonomy

Kakao has improved its Memorial Profile feature in the latest update (v10.5.0) of KakaoTalk. (Image courtesy of Kakao)

Kakao has improved its Memorial Profile feature in the latest update (v10.5.0) of KakaoTalk. (Image courtesy of Kakao)

SEOUL, Jan. 25 (Korea Bizwire) — Kakao has improved its Memorial Profile feature in the latest update (v10.5.0) of KakaoTalk, enhancing user autonomy in this regard.

The Memorial Profile allows KakaoTalk users to mourn and reminisce about the deceased. Following the update, users can now choose to switch to a posthumous Memorial Profile and appoint a representative to manage it. This option is available in the personal and security settings of KakaoTalk. 

If users select ‘Leave as Memorial Profile,’ they can designate one friend as their representative. Upon the representative’s acceptance, the Memorial Profile is set. 

Kakao has also streamlined the process of switching to a Memorial Profile after death. If no representative is designated, the family must submit various documents like death certificates and identity verification. However, if a representative is chosen, only the death certificate is required for the transition.

The representative will have the authority to manage the deceased’s profile, which remains valid for 49 days after the switch. They can share news of the bereavement or funeral and edit the profile picture, background image, and status message.

Users can also leave a final letter to their representative, which remains private until the profile transitions to a Memorial Profile. The letter is then shared only with the designated representative.

Conversations and personal information shared by the deceased will not be accessible to the representative, family, or others. 

Additionally, Kakao offers an option to restrict the Memorial Profile. If selected, even if the family requests it, the profile cannot be transitioned into a Memorial Profile. 

Kakao introduced the Memorial Profile in January of last year. Even if the deceased’s phone is deactivated or dormant, the KakaoTalk profile doesn’t change to ‘(Unknown)’ and remains a space for remembrance. A chrysanthemum flower icon appears next to the deceased’s profile picture, and one-on-one chat rooms enable sending tribute messages, viewable only by the sender.

Once switched to a Memorial Profile, features like gifting, money transfer, and voice talk are removed. Automatic withdrawal from all group chats occurs with a notification about the transition. 

The Memorial Profile lasts for five years, with an option to extend up to ten years. Without an extension request, the profile will be terminated and automatically withdrawn.

Kevin Lee (kevinlee@koreabizwire.com) 

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