Facebook messages from the dead: Grisly or a great idea?
Facebook, it seems, can look after everything . Even an app that lets you tidy things up should you pop your clogs unexpectedly.
The app, called simply "If I Die", makes sure that , even if you are en route to the cemetery, your social self can still send out your last wishes and post messages to your friends years after you’re gone. The Israeli company behind it has even been running a worldwide phone campaign using location tracking services to cold call unsuspecting customers and remind them just how vulnerable they are.
The idea behing 'If I Die' is very simple. . You post a final message to your wall and loved ones to be read when you’re dead. After installing the app, you choose three “trustees” (Facebook friends) who are charged with verifying your death. Users can then record video - up to five minutes - or add any number of Facebook posts to be published posthumously.
Adweek magazine explained to the US advertising community, "When your trustees confirm your death, your messages can be published all at once to your Facebook wall or released on a designated schedule."
Willook, the Tel Aviv-based company behind the app, say they built it because nobody really knows when death will come.
“We all have things to say and don’t necessarily have the audience with the patience to hear us,” said Eran Alfonta, the app’s co-founder and CEO. “Actually we all want to leave something behind, we all want to leave a stamp behind us.”
He got the idea after two married friends traveled to Italy without their children and narrowly escaped death in a car crash with a truck.
“They drank water (water!!) and relaxed - and started talking among themselves: 'Oh my God, what would happen to the kids if something happened to me?’”
Alfonta was asked to create a website where they could record something secret to their kids that would only be sent if they died. And that's just what he did. The website is www.ifidie.net.
Willook also embarked on a unique marketing campaign ."We had to remind them that death can catch them anywhere, anytime, and that they'd better leave a message before it was too late," said Alfonta.
"Using the API of popular location based services ( such as foursquare, Gowalla..), combined with twitter, 'Facebook places' and 'Google Latest', we were able to track thousands of check-ins worldwide. With this information we knew exactly where someone was in real time, and could communicate the message in person and that's exactly what we did.
"We called thousands of people from all over the world to their place of check-in and asked to speak with that person. After he was called to the phone, we communicated our message in a personal way and reminded him that death can catch him anywhere, anytime."
The video below explains it all. The recipient of the sales call is Adam Ostrow, editor-in-chief of Mashable, one of the first to break the story