Facebook is giving its users the ability to create multiple accounts in an effort to offer people more freedom in how they choose to interact with the platform.
Meta states in an announcement post it wanted to give people a way to compartmentalize different aspects of their online lives. That way, you can keep your personal account separate from your professional one or have profiles for certain audiences. You can have family follow one profile while friends follow another to better organize the content you want to share or see. Your feed no longer has to be a blend of everything thrown together willy-nilly. Now you can keep things simple and clean. Plus, Facebook won’t show you’ve created other profiles on your main page.
When creating an extra profile, be aware your personal settings will not carry over to another. They will be set to their default configuration upon creation. Additionally, the settings for each one are “managed separately”. You can’t use your primary account to make tweaks elsewhere. It appears this update will be exclusive to the Facebook mobile app. Meta doesn’t mention if it will be possible to create alt accounts on Facebook's web interface.
Creating an extra profile
Opening another profile is really easy to do.
You first tap your picture in the bottom right corner of the app to open the Settings. Below your name in the menu will be a box where you can enter a new username. Give your fresh account a name, then wait a few seconds for the process to finish up. You can then follow your friends or discover other communities to establish a unique feed. Swapping between profiles is just as easy to do. Simply tap the image for another account and it’ll switch over, no login necessary.
There are some restrictions you need to be aware of. This update will only be available to “eligible adult accounts”, according to Meta. Some features like Facebook Dating, Facebook Marketplace, Professional Mode, and payments “will not be available to additional personal profiles” – only the main one will have access to those tools. Also, support for Messenger will be disabled on the extras. You can still send messages, but Messenger itself is inaccessible.
It is a little surprising it has taken Facebook this long to implement multiple accounts especially when you consider that Instagram has had this functionality for over seven years. But hey, better late than never. Meta states the update is currently rolling out to Facebook on mobile devices globally “and will continue over the next few months.” No word on a desktop version.
We reached out to Meta asking if it will one day allow users to create new profiles on their desktop as well as if it could clarify what exactly an “eligible adult account” means. This story will be updated at a later time.
One of the use cases for these alt accounts is to have better online privacy. With that in mind, be sure to check out TechRadar’s list of the best privacy apps for Android to learn about other methods.
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Cesar Cadenas has been writing about the tech industry for several years now specializing in consumer electronics, entertainment devices, Windows, and the gaming industry. But he’s also passionate about smartphones, GPUs, and cybersecurity.