Four million Facebook users will die this year. Jono Milner, the co-founder of new app called Sanctri, believes that “when someone passes away, we don’t know how to deal with it on Facebook.” Sanctri, which was launched Thursday, creates a separate area where Facebookers can grieve and remember the dead.
Milner told CNET: “Facebook is today’s public forum. People used to pay tribute in the classifieds section of the newspapers — now it’s on Facebook. Many people want to come together to remember someone online — especially given that we’re such a mobile population these days.”
Sanctri allows Facebook users the ability to create social memorials, a Lifebook, as well as the ability to pledge positive actions and make charitable donations. According to Milner a separate Facebook area is necessary because “grief just doesn’t mix with the photos from last night’s party.”
Milner went on to explain that the standard Facebook options such as like and follow don’t necessarily apply during the grieving process, saying, “You don’t follow someone — you ‘remember’ them. You don’t ‘like’ something; you’re moved by it.”
Milner said that Sanctri is not a money-making venture. Rather, the founders are “focused on providing a service and community to people that we hope will help them.” On the official website, the message is clear: We needed a way to preserve the memory of those we’ve lost, sensitively on Facebook.
Sanctri’s online memorials will have privacy controls similar to those used on Facebook such that entries can be made public or kept entirely private.