How Emortal works
Emortal is a subscription service that helps biological or chosen families organize, share and protect their digital memories for future generations.
Digital memories include photos, videos, stories and documents, and are collectively referred to as content.
An Emortal basic subscription costs £4.99 per month and provides 100GB storage and 10 accounts.
A Subscriber invites up to 9 other people with whom they want to share memories, and together they are members of a family group.
How family groups work
Emortal’s definition of ‘family’ is a group of people who love and trust each other by virtue of being bound together over time by mutual consent and/or birth, adoption or placement.
The Subscriber is the person who pays for the family group’s subscription and is the only person who can invite people into the family group.
Important: when 9 other people have accepted an invitation to join a family group, others will not be able to join even if they have received an invitation.
Join or start a family group
If someone would like you to join their family group, you will get an email or text message with an invitation. Follow the instructions to set up your Emortal Account, download the Emortal app and join the family group.
If you wish to start your own family group, take out a new subscription and follow the instructions to invite others to become family group members.
Requirements for joining a family
To join a family group, you must:
- be aged 13 or older
- be based in the United Kingdom or USA / be based in a country that is supported by Emortal Ltd.
- have activated an Emortal Account and downloaded the Emortal app
- not be a member of another family group
- not have switched family groups in the last 12 months
A Subscriber can set up an Account for a dependent, as described in Emortal’s Terms of Service.
Connecting with extended family and friends
Members of different family groups can also connect with each other on a member-to-member basis. Upon acceptance of an invitation, members from different family groups can share content with each other. Important: this action does not use up a license.
Upon acceptance of a member-to-member invitation, all members of both family groups become discoverable to each other. Family group members can choose to connect with any member of the new family group on an individual basis.
There is no limit on the number of member-to-member connections you can make with different family groups.
How sharing works
All members of a family group are automatically connected to share posts with each other.
For Share, Albums, Lifeline and Time Capsules, a member can select who receives such content by selecting from their connections:
- family group members can be selected individually
- family group members can also be selected as a single group
- other member-to-member connections are selected individually
When an Album is shared, recipients can see the content as a snapshot in time. Subsequent additions to the Album by its owner will not be visible. Find out why here.
A connection may share content with you, but also with someone you are not directly connected with. Should this individual comment on the content, their name, profile picture and comment will be visible to you. You will be able to see who this person is connected to by clicking on the ‘shared with’ button.
What happens when you leave or switch family groups
When leaving a family group to start or join a new family group, a member’s Account, Safe, and all curated content (Lifeline, Albums, Time Capsules and share posts) moves with them by default, freeing up storage space on the original subscription and using up space on the new subscription. You will not be able to join a new family group if your content takes their total storage over the storage limit of their current subscription plan.
Connections with the original family group automatically migrate to become member-to-member connections but can subsequently be revoked by the account holder on an individual basis should they choose.
Alternatively, a member can choose to delete all their content.
An account holder can only switch family groups once every 12 months, meaning they may need to wait up to 12 months before leaving their family group to join another.
Leaving a family group retires a license from the subscription. Find out why here.
What happens when a family group runs out of space
If a family group runs out of space, all family group member’s content will stay safe, but they won’t be able to store new things.
To create additional storage space, family group members can delete content, or leave the family group to start a new one. In the latter scenario any two members could then connect, making all members of the two families discoverable for more member-to-member connections to be made.
Storage plan upgrades are planned for 2022.
What happens when a family group member dies
When a family group member dies, their account is memorialized and their Digital Heirs share custody of all the digital assets held in the deceased’s Emortal account. As custodians, Digital Heirs can see and share the original owner’s content with other family members and extended family and friends, be they existing or new connections.
Upon accepting an invitation to join a family group, all current and future family group members are automatically designated as Digital Heirs to each other’s digital assets upon their death and, by default, remain so even when members switch family groups. This reflects Emortal’s duty of care to ensure your digital assets pass to your next-of-kin.
Digital Heir status of any original family group member can be revoked or reinstated at any time by the account holder. To change the status of Digital Heirs associated with your own Account, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. The family member concerned will be notified when such changes are made.
Whilst an account holder has full control over who is a Digital Heir within their original family group, it is not possible to appoint Digital Heirs beyond this group.
In the event that an account holder becomes the sole remaining member of a family group and at no point has an original group family member left to start a new family group (in other words, there are no Digital Heirs associated with the account holder), the Emortal Digital Legacy Fund will become custodian of the account holder’s Account and will maintain the content until such time as it is claimed by an as-yet unknown heir up to a maximum of 10 years, after which time the Account and all content associated with it will be deleted.
When a Digital Heir becomes a custodian, the memorialized account they inherit does not count towards the storage allowance as determined by their subscription plan. A Digital Heir cannot delete or add content to a memorialized account.
To notify us when a family group member dies, please contact email@example.com to be guided through the death registration process.
How does a Digital Heir preserve their loved one’s memory?
Memorialized accounts appear in a Digital Heir’s family as a connection beneath their member-to-member connections. The connection carries the original account holder’s name and profile picture. Tapping opens the original Account, providing access to Safe, Albums, Lifeline and Time Capsule in the usual way. A Digital Heir can share content with existing connections and add new connections, but they cannot add or delete content, or change the account profile picture. When they share, content will appear as [their name] remembering [the original account holder’s name].
What happens if family groups fall out
Important: once an invitation is accepted, it is not possible for the Subscriber or any other family group member to cancel a license in order to forcibly remove a family member from a family group. Learn more about why this is the case and our duty of care to all account holders here.
Subscription changes and continuation
A family group can change the Subscriber at any time by transferring the subscription to another family group member who is aged 18 or older.
If a monthly subscription payment is missed for any reason, family group members will be notified if the payment is not made successfully within 30 days.
If the subscription remains unpaid after 60 days, the family group is temporarily suspended and no new members can join the family group. All content can still be accessed and viewed by existing connections and in line with existing permissions, all Safe items can be downloaded and any content can be deleted. Family group content cannot be further shared via new permissions or new connections, and new content cannot be added until the subscription is reactivated.
If a family group is temporarily suspended for over 60 days without renewal of the subscription, the subscription will be deactivated and all content of all family group members will be deleted after a further 60 days. Find out more about Emortal’s deletion grace period in our duty of care section here.
The first family member to successfully set up payment details and bring the subscription up to date will automatically become the new Subscriber for the family group, whereby the payment and subscription terms as described in our Terms of Service apply.
How Emortal makes money
Emortal is a subscription service. We make enough money from account holder subscriptions to pay for the provision of our service, as well as investment into our Digital Legacy Fund. The Emortal Digital Legacy Fund (EDLF) generates enough return to pay for the future cost of preserving a family’s content for generations to come.
Which file types does Emortal support?
- Video: MP4/MPEG4 (mp4), AVI Video (avi), M4V (m4v), Quicktime Video (mov, moov), OGV Video (ogv), WMV Video (wmv), MPEG Video (mpeg, mpg, mpe, mts, m2ts, m2t)
- Images: Tiff Image (tif, tiff), GIF image (gif), Bitmap Image (bmp), JPEG Image (jpeg, jpg)
- Audio: WAV Audio (wav), MP3 (mp3, mpga), OGG Audio (oga, ogg, spx), MPEG audio (m4a, m4b, m4p), WMA audio (wma)