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Locked out Facebook users get new Trusted Contacts account recovery feature

Facebook has launched Trusted Contacts, which lets Facebook users provide friends with a virtual spare key, in case of emergency.

The new Trusted Contacts is a redesigned and improved version of Trusted Friends, which rolled out in 2011 and called on friends if a user had trouble logging in to the social network.

Now with more control over account security, Trusted Contacts allows users to choose and manage said friends from the Security Settings, instead of only when having trouble accessing an account.

"That way, you can personally choose friends you really trust to help you," the Facebook Security team wrote in a blog post.

The company considers "trusted contacts" to be people you'd give a spare house key to and someone you can reach out to without using Facebook. Users can select three to five people to be listed.

Can't log into your account? Just call three of your trusty friends, and let them know you need help regaining access to your news feed and birthday reminders. Each one will get a security code with instructions on how to help, and only once you have all three codes can you recover your account.

"With trusted contacts, there's no need to worry about remembering the answer to your security question or filling out long web forms to prove who you are," Facebook said. "You can recover your account with help from your friends."

The feature is currently rolling out to users, who can visit their Security Settings to start building a list of trusted contacts; Facebook will then notify those who are selected.

Users seem to be excited about the new process, commenting on the post with smiley-face emoticons and Facebook's own thumbs-up icon.