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1 post from September 2023

The Curious Aspect of Facebook Supporting Multiple Personas

I find it fascinating that Meta just announced the ability of Facebook users to have multiple accounts attached to their single Facebook account. So you can have different “personas” for interacting with different communities differently.

Now, this is nothing very new. We’ve had this in the Fediverse since its beginnings. You can have as many accounts on different instances as you want. And many apps let you seamlessly switch between them. I use the Ice Cubes app for Mastodon on my mobile devices, and with the tap on an icon in the lower right corner of the app, I can switch to a different profile. Other social media services have had this capability, too.

But why I find this fascinating is that my memory is that for so long, Facebook did NOT want you to do this. They promoted the notion that you used your “real name” and that Facebook was a place where you could go to interact with real people, not potentially anonymous people. And in fact they seemed to encourage the blending and blurring of work and personal lives.

I remember this being a big deal to them - and something that differentiated Facebook from other services that allowed anonymity or pseudonymity.

Or at least that is what I remember. And so it is fascinating to see the pivot to allowing people to have different accounts for different facets of their lives. Which DOES reflect the reality of how most of us like to interact with people online.

Whether this incentivizes more people to use Facebook, I don’t know. I’ve decreased my time there mostly because of their extremely privacy-invasive systems. Multiple personas will not bring me back. But I am only one person. What about you? Will this make you do anything more on Facebook?