Facebook testing feature to allow users to have up to five profiles

Facebook will allow some users to have the ability to create up to four additional profiles, as part of the test, tied to their original account.

Facebook testing feature to allow users to have up to five profiles
Facebook will subject all the profiles under an account to its policies. (File/Reuters)

Facebook is testing a new feature that would allow some users to have multiple profiles, the company said, signalling a huge shift as owner Meta Platforms looks to find newer ways to encourage users to spend more time on the platform amid growing competition.

Facebook will allow some users to have the ability to create up to four additional profiles, as part of the test, tied to their original account. Facebook’s idea is for people to use the additional profiles for different purposes, such as one for friends, for co-workers, and others. Users will still have only one account but be allowed to switch between profiles with a few simple clicks.

Facebook will subject all the profiles under an account to its policies and violations on any one profile would affect the overall account, Facebook Spokesperson Leonard Lam told The Verge.

Lam added: “To help people tailor their experience based on interests and relationships, we’re testing a way for people to have more than one profile tied to a single Facebook account. Anyone who uses Facebook must continue to follow our rules.”

Users creating additional profiles would not require their real identity for display names, Lam added, as long as the stand-in didn’t violate the platform’s policies and didn’t include special characters or numbers.

The company’s policy on profile names states: “The name on your profile should be the name that your friends call you in everyday life. This name should also appear on an ID or document from our ID list.”

This policy has been a bone of contention for years, even leading to legal action in Germany.

Facebook’s shift from the single-profile policy comes as the Meta-owned platform continues to face competition to keep users, especially young people, amid threats from TikTok. The company lost daily users for the first time in its history in the fourth quarter of 2021.

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