Meta Platforms, formally known as Facebook, is reportedly testing a way for people to have more than one profile tied to a single Facebook account. The social networking giant that looking to keep its users engaged with the platform, said that it will help them tailor their experience based on interests and relationships.
The new feature will allow people to have different profiles for different groups of people. For example, the same person will be able to have a profile for personal friends, another for people at work, and one for family and so on.
More specifically, users will be able to create up to five different profiles under the same account. The additional profiles don’t have to include the person’s real name, as long as it doesn’t contain any numbers or special characters. However, the user’s main profile must still have the person’s real name, the company has confirmed to TechCrunch via email.
According to the statement provided to the website, the feature will allow users to create different profiles for specific purposes such as different groups, people and more. For instance, they can keep dedicated feeds for their friends and business people on the platform or different profiles for friends, family and co-workers.
The feature is currently being tested with select Facebook users and those who are part of the multiple profiles test can easily switch between the profiles in just a few taps.
This is a major shift compared to the current Facebook policy, which says that creating more than one personal profile on the social network is against the platform’s standards, as a Reuters report said, the new move by Facebook is “a major shift from the "real name" requirement the company has maintained since its inception”.
While this can create unnecessary privacy issues, Facebook argued that the additional profiles will also be subject to Facebook’s rules, and breaking them will result in penalties for the entire account.
“Users who will be found violating the rules or policy on any of the sub-profiles, the main Facebook account will be impacted," it said.
Other social networks like Instagram and Twitter already offer ways to separate content that can only be seen by selected users. That’s because some people don’t want to have their personal content exposed to public, especially to workplace colleagues.
Facebook’s intentions to introduce more ‘interesting’ features may also stem from the fact that the social network has been losing users to competing platforms like TikTok.
In February, Facebook shares dropped more than 20% from the previous fiscal quarter. In addition, it lost about half a million global daily users in the fourth quarter of 2021 compared to the previous quarter, according to the quarterly earnings report of Meta, its parent company.