For many, Facebook has lost its appeal in recent times. Part of the reason for that is because everyone is on it – including your parents, grandparents, long-lost school friends, etc. With everyone on there, posting about every other thing, it can feel less personal, which may stop you from sharing the things you might on other apps.
But what if you could have various Facebook identities, with separate profiles to interact with different elements of the platform?
That’s what Facebook’s experimenting with, with users potentially able to create up to 5 separate profiles all tied back to one master account.
“Meta will start letting users create multiple profiles with their Facebook accounts, the company’s latest attempt to encourage posting and sharing on its social network. As part of a test, certain Facebook members will be able to create as many as four additional profiles, and each one won’t need to include a person’s real name or identity.”
So, theoretically, you might have one Facebook identity that you use to interact with friends, then another for co-workers. Each of these facets would come with its own News Feed, providing a new way to interact with different elements, without having to share everything with every one of your connections.
Which is kind of like Groups, which has become a key focus element for Facebook of late. As more users have become warier about sharing everything to their main feed, groups have provided an alternative, enabling people to interact with more niche interests, without worrying about being judged by peers, or annoying people with their thoughts on politics, sports, etc.
Which seems to be the real focus here. Last February, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that a standard note of feedback that Facebook execs hear is that people don’t want political content to take over their News Feed. The increasing political division has infected Facebook, arguably more so than other apps. This may be due to the breadth of Facebook’s user base, which means that older, more traditional perspectives are clashing with younger audiences in the app.
That, as Zuckerberg notes, has become a point of angst for many, and maybe, by enabling people to create alternate profiles, for different audiences, that could free people up to discuss what they like within different groups, without fearing judgment or criticism – and indeed, argument – for such.
The concept also leans into future metaverse use, with Meta also looking to create variable avatars for the evolving digital space.