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Facebook will allow some users to have multiple profiles as part of a trial, such as announced today the company, marking a significant change as Meta looks for new ways to encourage users to stay on the platform amid increased competition.

As part of the trial, some Facebook users will be able to create up to four additional profiles linked to their original account. The idea is that the additional profiles can be used for different purposes, such as one for friends, one for colleagues and others for use with interest groups and influencers. Users will still have one account, but will be able to switch between profiles with a few clicks.

Profiles will be subject to Facebook's policies and violations on one profile will affect the entire account, according to spokesman Leonard Lam.

"To help users tailor their experience based on their interests and relationships, we're testing a way to have more than one profile connected to a single Facebook account. Everyone who uses Facebook must continue to follow our rules," Lam says.

Users who create additional profiles will not have to use their real identity for the name that appears on the profile, Lam says, as long as the name chosen does not violate the platform's policies and does not include numbers or special characters. Facebook's rule that account holders must use the name they use in real life has been a point of contention for years, having sparked several legal actions in Germany.

Facebook's move away from the single profile comes as the platform struggles to retain its users, especially young people, as the popularity of services like TikTok continue to grow. The company saw a drop in daily users for the first time in its history in the fourth quarter of 2021.

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