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(Pocket-lint) - Facebook is testing an Accounts Center hub designed to bring its Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram properties closer together.

What is Accounts Center and how does it work?

  • Single sign-on across Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram
  • Cross-posting for stories and posts between Facebook and Instagram
  • Check out with Facebook Pay across Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram

Accounts Center is completely optional. It's a hub that allows you to set up and have access to new capabilities, like "single sign-on", which will unify your login across all your accounts. It will also streamline cross-posting, letting you share the same story or post on both Instagram and Facebook. Later this year, Facebook Pay will come to Accounts Center in the US, so you can enter your payment information once on Facebook and then use Facebook Pay to make purchases on Instagram. 

"Switching apps to post the same content or entering your credit card information dozens of times is a pain," Facebook explained in a blog post. "We want to make that easier while giving you better controls to manage your experience. Whether you want to share a story to Instagram and Facebook at the same time, or use your Facebook account to log into Instagram, setting up your Accounts Center will allow you to control connected experiences that work across our apps."

Can you only have one identity with Accounts Center?

  • You can have separate identities on Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram
  • Or, sync your name and photo on Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram

No. Facebook said using Accounts Center doesn’t mean you need to have the same identity across all our apps. "You can still choose to be Aisha Ahmed on Facebook, for example, and @bakersdozen on your Instagram account". However, if you want, you can sync your name and profile photo across Facebook's apps. So, if you change your name or your profile photo on Facebook, it will update on Instagram/ You will have the ability to disable auto-syncing after the fact, too.

When can you set up and try Accounts Center yourself?

  • Currently being tested
  • Facebook Pay integration won't be available at launch

Facebook is testing Accounts Center in settings on Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger. It is not yet widely available for everyone to try. Keep in mind, when it does launch, it won't have Facebook Pay, which will let you make purchases with Facebook Pay across all of Facebook's properties. That's coming later.

Want to know more?

Check out our guides on Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger:

Writing by Maggie Tillman. Originally published on 30 September 2020.