This week, Instagram made our lives easier by introducing a new feature that lets you switch between multiple accounts with ease. This, of course, prompted a whole bunch of questions about whether the same thing is possible on other social networks — for example, can you switch between different Facebook accounts without logging out? Things get a tad confusing with this platform, because Facebook offers you the option of having both a personal page as well as a business or fan page — and the rules are different for each. What's more, your experience on the site varies greatly depending on the device you're using. Facebooking on your mobile is much more simplified, although in certain cases, you have to download additional apps if you want more control. It's kind of a pain; then again, though, we have all this power right at our fingertips, so at least there's that, right?
While the social media site isn't totally, 100 percent user-friendly, they've certainly made changes in the not-too-distant past to improve our Facebooking experience. And the recent upgrade to Instagram (plus the excitement following it) makes me wonder if Facebook is going to try to up their game a bit. I could get behind that.
One thing worth noting: As far as I know, all of the ability to switch between different accounts only works if you're going back and forth between a personal page and a business page — not between two personal pages like you can with Instagram. For what it's worth, though, here's what the platform offers so far and how to switch between your personal page and business page.
Switching Between A Personal Page And A Business Page On Your Desktop:
You have the most flexibility in controlling both your personal and business page when you're logged in on your personal one. I'll use my personal profile and my writing business page as an example. Here I am logged in on my personal page.
Now I've navigated to my business page, without logging out of my personal one.
What's cool about this is I can post, like comments, and respond to comments as Megan the Writer without needing to log in to that account. You can tell who you're operating as by the photo at the bottom right of every post:
That's the profile pic for my business page, which means I'm currently operating as my business page. Easy peasy. You can easily change who you're operating as by clicking on your picture/arrow on the right. A dropdown menu will appear with every page you manage, allowing you to pick one and function as that page, without logging out. Let's take a look at it in action:
Bustle recently posted about the seven most innovative beauty products of the year, and it was fabulous. I want to like/comment on it from my business page without logging out of my personal one. I clicked on my little picture, and here's the dropdown:
All I do is click on the name/thumbnail of my business page, and voila!
If you want to access your business page's timeline, along with the other pages you're following from that business page, you do need to switch to that account. Note: Once you switch to your business account, you cannot access any other account without logging out again (meaning the dropdown menu will not include any other identities).
Switching Between A Personal Page And A Business Page On Your Mobile Device:
Navigating through all these options and settings is fairly simply on your desktop; but move to your mobile device, and the whole game changes.
If you're logged in to your personal account, you can simply go to your business page and post as that page, without logging into it.
However, the option to change who you're liking/commenting as is no longer there. If you're visiting your own business page (even though you aren't logged in), you will be responding as the business page, whether you are commenting on a post ("Comment as Megan Grant") or replying to someone else's comment ("Reply as Megan Grant").
If you're visiting someone else's page from your personal page, the option to switch your identity is no longer there, meaning you're responding from your personal page, which is why is says "Write a comment."
Basically, if you want to have complete control over your business pages while working from your mobile device, you'll need to download Pages — the separate app for managing business/fan pages. This will let you check the activity on your pages, publish posts, and view your insights. This is what it looks like when I'm signed in on my business page.
When you click the ico in the top left corner (those three horizontal lines — I think it looks like a hamburger, but maybe that's just me), a menu will appear with every page you have access to, as well as additional settings.
It's kind of annoying having to download this additional app. At the same time, however, there are so many things you can do with a business page; it makes sense that access to it is kept in a different place. If you work from your phone a lot, or simply want access to your page at all times, I highly suggest you download Pages.
The biggest takeaway for me? If you're not 100 percent certain who you're operating as, just look for your thumbnail picture at the bottom right. That's the easiest way to tell!
Images: kaboompics/Pexels; Megan Grant/Bustle (9)