Already facing an accelerating decline in revenue, Meta is trying to hide the declining number of active Facebook and Instagram users by allowing the remaining ones to build multiple identities, with the resulting profiles being merged with existing accounts.
While until now, Facebook has only allowed one profile to be associated with one user account, it looks like very soon everyone will be able to have multiple identities, with Meta already developing a feature that will allow users to quickly switch between multiple profiles attached to the same Facebook account.
Identified for now under the generic name Profile Switching Tool, the new feature comes as an extension to the current option for switching between the personal profile and identity of the Facebook pages you manage. So once you create a new Facebook profile, all you have to do is link it by saving your login details in your mobile app or web browser, and then you can use Meta’s specially implemented feature to switch between profiles in just a few seconds, without having to go through the login process each time.
Officially, the intention is to allow users to have different profiles depending on the groups of people they want to interact with. For example, this feature will allow you to keep a main profile to impress close friends and family with, a “serious” profile to show to co-workers, and yet another “playful” profile to impress future “conquests” with, ensuring that everyone can only see the profile you intend to show.
Incidentally, Facebook itself says the new feature aims to “help people tailor their experience based on interests and relationships”, having already tested the new feature with a small group of users.
However, we can’t ignore the potentially negative aspects of the new feature that would allow up to five profiles to be associated with a single Facebook account. For example, the possibilities for SPAM and the creation of “ghost” accounts multiply exponentially, as anyone can have different Facebook identities ready to be used for less than honest purposes. While Meta hopes to limit this potential by forcing users to associate each newly created profile with their primary account identity, the reality is that each profile will be allowed to have a different username, with the whole system designed around the idea of masking or misrepresenting the real identity.
While additional profiles will allow you to do almost anything you can with your real profile, Facebook will still limit additional profiles. Features like creating and connecting Facebook Pages will only be available with the primary profile associated with that account.