Facebook will now allow users to create multiple personal profiles in an effort to help users feel “freer” to engage on the platform, the company announced today.
The move makes sense, so much so that one wonders what took the company so long to roll it out. Some Facebook users hesitate to share work-related updates or posts on the platform in certain groups, for example, because they prefer to keep their professional and personal lives separate. (Speaking from a journalist’s perspective, I stopped sharing my articles in certain groups because I did not want strangers to have access to photos of my family. I also stopped using my full name as I didn’t want just anyone to find me on Facebook.)
Or maybe you’d prefer to have a profile where you’re only connected to a certain group of close friends, and not just acquaintances or someone you used to work with five years ago, so that you can feel comfortable to share more. Or perhaps you are a major bookworm and want just one profile with a feed filled with only book-related posts and fellow bookworm connections so that you can gush about the latest book you read or whine about how bad another turned out to be.
In explaining the new feature, Facebook said: “We heard from people that clearer organization of friends, groups, and interests helps them feel freer to engage with the audience they believe is most relevant…Creating multiple personal profiles lets you easily organize who you share with and what content you see for the various parts of your life.”
Each profile will have a unique feed with relevant content, and users will be able to switch between profiles without having to log in. Some features — such as dating, marketplace, professional mode and payments — will not initially be available to additional personal profiles.
As of July, Facebook had more than 3 billion monthly active users, according to Meta’s latest quarterly report. The platform also had 2.064 billion daily active users, up from 2.037 billion the previous quarter. That growth was pivotal, because in the final quarter of 2021, Facebook reported its first-ever quarterly decline in daily active users.