Facebook is testing an option for users to create multiple profiles from a single account, amid a bid by the platform to reignite user growth.
The feature is aimed at helping users "tailor their experience based on interests and relationships," Facebook (FB) spokesperson Leonard Lam told CNN Business in a statement.
While Facebook prohibits users from having more than one account, the feature would let them create up to five profiles under their account to engage with different topics or groups of people. This might entail profiles (and thus, Facebook feeds) designed for engaging with close friends versus coworkers, or a profile dedicated to a specific hobby like gaming. Bloomberg first reported the new feature test on Thursday.
The test comes as Facebook parent company Meta (FB) experiences slowing profit growth and steep competition from rivals like TikTok, which it is battling for users' time and attention. In February, Meta shocked investors by posting a rare stalling in quarterly user growth, a trend that reversed slightly in the first quarter of this year.
Meta is in the midst of transitioning to a company centered around a future, augmented- and virtual-reality enabled "metaverse," rather than social media. But it needs to keep raking in profits from its existing platforms to fund investments into that vision. The company has recently been working to further integrate Facebook and Instagram — making it easier for users to discover content and engage with communities between both platforms by, for example, showing Instagram Reels in the Facebook feed.
Users of the new multiple-profile feature will be able to create unique names for each profile they make, but will still be subject to Facebook's rules prohibiting misrepresentation and impersonating public figures, according to Lam. People's main profiles must still comply with the platform's rule to use the name they go by regularly. There will also be certain Facebook features, such as Facebook Dating and the ability to create a page, only available to users' main profiles.
If a user violates the platform's community guidelines in one profile, their entire account will be subject to disciplinary action.
"Anyone who uses Facebook must continue to follow our rules," Lam said.
The company is testing the new feature with users in select countries, according to Lam, although he did not specify where or when the option would be widely available.
BDST:1744 HRS, July 15, 2022