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Facebook users can now create multiple personal profiles with unique feeds and relevant content for each one, Meta announced in a press release on Thursday. Historically, users had to create a completely unattached profile and log in and out to toggle between the two, but that is changing with the new feature.
“Creating multiple personal profiles lets you easily organize who you share with and what content you see for the various parts of your life,” Meta said in its press release. “Think one profile for the foodie scene you love and another one to keep up with your friends and family.”
Meta compared Facebook’s new profile option to the option currently available on Instagram in the press release. “We’ve seen the success of separate interest-based accounts on Instagram, so we’re excited to bring this option to Facebook,” the company said, adding that the feature will start to roll out globally starting Thursday and it will continue to roll out the feature over the next few months.
Meta first announced the feature in July of last year, saying it was testing the option of five separate profiles under one account. “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,” a Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch at the time. “Anyone who uses Facebook must continue to follow our rules,” he added.
The final feature has changed slightly since the announcement, allowing a user to create four profiles, instead of five, while certain features will still only be enabled through the user’s main profile. Some of the features (including Dating, Marketplace, Professional Mode, and Payments) will only be available to use through the primary profile.
The company clarified in its press release that additional personal profiles will only be available to eligible adult accounts. It is unclear if the owners of current separate accounts, such as a personal and professional Facebook page, will have the option to link the two accounts together. Gizmodo has reached out to Meta asking if this option is available, but did not immediately receive a response.
The new feature comes as Facebook works to compete with other social media platforms, most recently X, formerly called Twitter, by creating Threads, which similarly links to the user’s Instagram. The changes may be in response to Meta’s stagnate platform which reported a drop in users for the first time in February of last year, saying the platform lost roughly half a million users in the fourth quarter of 2021. Meta CFO David Wehner attributed the drop in users to an increased number of competing social media apps in an earnings call last year. “We believe competitive services are negatively impacting growth, particularly with younger audiences,” he said.
Meta has continued to adjust its social media platforms by adding new features in addition to the multiple personal profiles including Facebook Reels, redesigned layout for Pages, more relevant notifications, and a dedicated News Feed. However, some people believe Meta’s efforts are in vain and may not make a difference.
“I don’t see it spiraling in terms of cash flows in the next few years,” Jeremy Bondy, CEO of app marketing firm Liftoff, told CNN last year. “But I’m just worried that they’re not winning the next generation.”