A new profile switching tool will make it easier for users to switch between Facebook and Instagram accounts.
Anyone who has linked their profiles through Meta’s centralized profile hub, the Accounts Center, will be able to switch between the two apps. When logged into one app, users can now easily switch between apps via the profile menu, which displays any linked accounts.
Through the Accounts Center, Meta encourages users to enable “connected experiences,” which unify identity across its products. For the time being, the feature is in testing, but it is widely available for iOS, Android, and web users worldwide.
Meta wants users to rely on a centralized account across apps, but the company is also making it easier to create and manage multiple accounts. Users can now create new accounts using an existing Instagram or Facebook login rather than having to sign up from scratch, which was admittedly a pain just to run your finsta or whatever. The new account creation feature, which is also currently in testing, is now available globally on iOS and Android.
While Meta, formerly Facebook, was once adamantly opposed to its users having multiple profiles, preferring instead to have a single “real” identity, the company’s stance has shifted in recent years.
There could be a number of reasons for this. A generous interpretation is that Meta is aware that digital identity is becoming more fluid and multifaceted, particularly among younger users who are at ease on pseudonymous social platforms (TikTok, YouTube, Twitch, etc.). However, Meta is well aware that TikTok, its ascendant rival, is reducing the amount of time people spend on its own apps. Encouraging more accounts and cross-platform logins may boost its user engagement numbers, making things appear less dire during quarterly earnings calls and the like.
Another equally cynical interpretation is that Meta wants its app suite to be as interconnected as possible these days so that if regulators ever make good on threats to break up the company, it won’t be as simple as forcing it to sell Instagram, WhatsApp, or its VR business. If regulators in the United States ever come down on Meta, and whether they would even care about the technical realities of separating its myriad products if they did, remains to be seen, but it’s very Meta to defend against a perceived threat to its business at all costs.