Meta – the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp – is reportedly testing out a new feature that will allow people to have five different Facebook profiles.
Yes, that’s right – five profiles! According to Bloomberg UK, this is an attempt by the social media giant to boost sharing and posting on Facebook, which has fallen out of favour somewhat in recent years among the younger generation in particular.
The reports say that with this new feature, users will be able to have up to four extra profiles connected to their account. While the original ‘master’ account will need to have the user’s legitimate name and identity, the other four won’t need to have a legitimate identity.
This news will likely sound warning bells instantly to most people’s heads, or jackpot signs to trolls, as a profile without a legitimate identity is seemingly perfect for trolling and generally wreaking havoc online. However, it looks like Meta has thought of this, and only one profile (assumedly the legitimate one) will be able to comment and like posts. As well as this, all profiles must adhere to Facebook’s policies and as they’re all linked together, if one profile is found to violate the rules, all profiles will suffer the consequences, which seems fair.
This does beg the question though of what’s the point in these new profiles if they can’t interact with anything? While they will be able to share posts of their own, not being able to engage with others seems a bit silly – especially as the whole aim of these additional profiles is to stir up engagement, with Facebook hoping they will allow users to create separate accounts for their varying interests, such as one profile for food and one for travel. Alternatively, users could opt for one account to share with friends, one for family and one for co-workers.
Currently this is being tested out, with a select number of users in the US and a handful of other countries being granted access.
Personally, I think these profiles sound like a load of rubbish! If people can only engage with posts using one profile, what’s the point in having four others, just for the sake of a personalized news feed for that particular interest/friends list? It also brings with it a whole other host of questions from an advertising perspective – will each profile be classed as separate for advertising purposes, or will all their collective interests be put together?
While having more than one account is against Facebook’s policies, several people do it anyway, and in my opinion, if someone really wants a separate profile, they’re going to want one they can actually like and comment with, so they’ll just create a whole new profile.
While Facebook’s thinking behind this one is questionable, the underlying reason for these additional profiles is engagement – highlighting the value of engagement online. If you need help boosting your visibility and engagement on the web, speak to our team here at Engage Web today.