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Facebook Legacy Contacts Now Available

This may come as a bit of a surprise to some - in the latest news from Facebook they are allowing users to choose a legacy contact to take control of their account after they have passed away. According to a blog post from the social network, the site is "a place to share and connect with friends and family [and] remember and honour those we've lost"; with this in mind, the profile of a deceased loved one can become "a memorial of their life", updated and maintained by those who love them.

In the blog post, Facebook recommends an individual choose a family member or close friend to take control of their account once they have gone. The social network will need to be informed of their death and the account will then be memorialised. The nominated contact will then be allowed to access the account, where they will be able to update the profile and cover photo, either accept or decline new friend requests, and write a final post to be shown at the top of the timeline.

The legacy contact will also be able to download an archive of photos and posts from the deceased's account. They will not be able to download private messages, however.

The move came amid numerous queries from users about who takes control of an account once a user has passed on. The previous system meant an account was either frozen of completely deleted; this is still in place in the UK but the new system was introduced to the US last week, due to be expanded to other regions – including the UK – in the near future.

What do you make of this new system? As we all begin to create extensive online personas, do you think this is the future of the legacy system?