Maybe you got married. Maybe you’ve always been called by another name you prefer and you want to use that on Facebook. Or, maybe you just want to mess with your friends and family and change your name on Facebook for a little bit. No matter the reason Facebook makes it relatively easy to change your name in the Facebook mobile app. The only catch is that you have to wait 60 days after you change your name before you can change it again.
Some of the images associated with the steps are included inline below. All images associated with these steps can be seen in the embedded YouTube video. Also, please note that you’re not able to leave a comment directly on this article. If you have a question or feedback, please leave it on the YouTube video.
Steps to Change Your Name in the Facebook Mobile App
- Open the Facebook app on your iPhone, iPad or Android device. You’ll land on your Facebook home page.
- Tap “Menu” in the row of icons along the bottom of the screen. Your Facebook menu screen is displayed.
- Tap the “Settings” icon at the top of this screen. The Settings and Privacy screen is shown.
- Tap “Accounts Center” at the top of this screen. You’ll land on the Meta Accounts Center page.
- Tap “Profiles.” The next screen displays a list of your Meta profiles and what Meta services they are associated with.
- Tap the profile associated with your Facebook account where you want to change the name. A page associated with that Facebook profile is displayed.
- Tap “Name.” The Name screen is shown, displaying the first, last and middle name associated with this profile.
- Change whatever part of your Facebook profile name you want to change, and then click “Review Change.”
- The next screen will let you preview how your updated Facebook name will appear, and choose whether you want the first name displayed first, or the last name displayed first. And again, as a reminder, move forward with caution because you have to wait 60 days after you change your name before you can change it again.
- Tap “Save Changes” after making your selection if you want to move forward.
- You’ll be routed back to that profile overview, where you’ll see your changes reflected, and a note at the bottom of the screen letting you know that your Facebook name has been updated successfully.
Rules Associated with Changing Your Name on Facebook
Facebook emphasizes the use of real-life names to foster genuine interactions on its platform. The principle behind this rule lies in Facebook’s mission to connect real people and foster genuine relationships. By encouraging users to adopt names they’re commonly known by in their daily life, Facebook aims to reduce anonymity-driven misbehaviors. This ensures that users can easily find their friends, family, or colleagues, promoting trust within the community. Having everyone use their true identity helps maintain accountability and authenticity in all interactions.
2. Format Restrictions
A uniform naming format contributes to the platform’s ease of use and searchability. Facebook’s restriction on certain characters and titles ensures that names remain clear and readable. By prohibiting random capitalization, extraneous punctuation, and titles, Facebook reduces confusion and maintains a standard, clean format across profiles. This rule not only ensures clarity but also minimizes the chances of misleading or coded names that can be deceiving.
3. Frequency of Changes
Limiting how often a user can modify their name prevents potential misuse and identity confusion. By establishing this boundary, Facebook deters users from frequently switching identities, which could lead to mistrust among their connections. This rule helps to uphold the platform’s credibility. Limiting name changes also reduces the platform’s vulnerability to fraudulent activities or impersonation attempts, reinforcing user safety and trust.
4. Consistency Across Name Fields
Ensuring consistency in name fields guarantees that a user’s profile remains transparent and easily identifiable. By disallowing variations or nicknames in certain fields, Facebook ensures that search results are accurate and reflective of genuine identities. This clarity helps users in connecting with the right individuals, avoiding potential misidentifications. A consistent naming structure also strengthens the platform’s integrity and reliability.
5. No Impersonation
Impersonating someone else compromises the trust users place in the platform. Facebook strictly prohibits this to ensure user safety and to prevent potential fraud. Impersonation can lead to various negative outcomes, from misleading interactions to identity theft. By enforcing this rule, Facebook prioritizes its users’ security and the authenticity of interactions, ensuring a reliable and genuine environment for all its members.
6. No Offensive or Suggestive Words
To maintain a respectful community atmosphere, Facebook restricts the use of names with offensive or suggestive content. Offensive names can alienate or harm other users, creating a hostile environment. Facebook aims to be a platform where everyone feels welcome and safe. By setting this standard, it curbs potential negativity and promotes healthy, respectful communication among its vast user base.
7. Proof of Identity
Occasionally, Facebook may request proof of identity to verify the authenticity of a profile. This rule underscores Facebook’s commitment to ensuring that all its users engage under their genuine identities. It acts as a protective measure against false profiles, malicious activity, or misrepresentation. This verification process not only builds trust within the community but also deters potential misusers from exploiting the platform.
8. Reverting to a Previous Name
The waiting period to revert to a prior name acts as a deterrent against impulsive or malicious changes. This rule ensures users give due consideration before altering their names, recognizing the potential implications of their decision. The imposed waiting time reduces potential confusion among the user’s friends and followers, reinforcing trust and stability in online identities.
9. Maiden Names and Married Names
Facebook recognizes the cultural and personal significance of maiden and married names. While the platform allows their use, it insists that these names adhere to the standard naming policies. This ensures that while users have the freedom to reflect personal milestones, the platform’s integrity and clarity remain uncompromised. It strikes a balance between personal expression and platform consistency.
While Facebook promotes the use of real names, it understands the cultural and personal significance of nicknames. By allowing nicknames as variations of a user’s real name, Facebook acknowledges the diverse ways individuals identify in various settings. However, the platform ensures these nicknames are recognizable variations of the user’s genuine name, blending personal identity with platform authenticity.
Reasons to Change Your Name in Facebook
1. Marital Status Change
When people marry or divorce, their identity often shifts. Reflecting this transition, many choose to change their Facebook name. A newlywed might adopt their partner’s surname or create a hyphenated version. Conversely, after a divorce, someone might revert to their maiden name. This change symbolizes new beginnings or returning to one’s roots. In both scenarios, a name change on Facebook is more than just an update; it’s a declaration of a personal evolution.
2. Personal Preference
Names hold power. For some, their birth name might not resonate with who they’ve become. Over time, we grow, evolve, and sometimes our names no longer fit. It could be a name from childhood that feels outdated or one that never truly felt “right”. By changing it on Facebook, users express their authentic selves, choosing a name that resonates more deeply with their personality or personal history.
3. Safety or Privacy Concerns
In our digital age, maintaining privacy is paramount. There are unfortunate situations where people need to evade certain individuals, like abusive exes or stalkers. Changing one’s name on Facebook can be a means to guard against unwanted attention. It allows users to retain their social presence while adding an extra layer of protection. A modified name can deter unwanted searches and grant individuals peace of mind.
4. Gender Transition
Identity is complex. For those undergoing a gender transition, aligning their Facebook name with their true gender identity is a significant step. It’s an affirmation of their journey and a way to be recognized for who they truly are. By updating their name, they not only correct a discrepancy but also embrace their authentic self, signaling acceptance and pride in their transition journey.
5. Religious or Spiritual Reasons
Religion and spirituality play profound roles in many lives. A conversion or deepening of faith can inspire a name change on Facebook. Names derived from religious texts or figures can embody one’s spiritual journey or newfound beliefs. By adopting such a name, users make a statement about their values, devotion, and the transformation they’ve undergone due to their faith.
6. Cultural Reasons
Names tell stories of heritage and origin. After migrating, some find their birth name challenging for locals. They might opt for a name that’s easier to pronounce, or they might choose one that better reflects their cultural roots. Updating their Facebook name to reflect this allows users to bridge the gap between their history and their present, honoring both their heritage and their new environment.
7. Professional Branding
Branding is vital in our interconnected world. Public figures, artists, and performers often operate under pseudonyms or stage names. Using this name on Facebook aligns their personal profile with their professional persona. It offers consistency across platforms and helps fans or followers connect with them easily. For these individuals, a Facebook name is more than just a label; it’s a brand.
8. Correcting Mistakes
Errors happen. Someone might have mistakenly entered their name incorrectly during the initial Facebook setup. Overlooking a typo or missing a letter can happen to anyone. It’s not just about correcting an oversight. Ensuring accuracy in their name helps users present themselves authentically and maintain credibility among their Facebook friends and contacts.
Adoption is a transformative event. Adoptees might feel the need to reflect their new family’s name or revert to a birth name. Changing a name on Facebook in such cases can be deeply personal. It might be about embracing a new family bond or reconnecting with one’s biological roots. Names become a reflection of an individual’s journey and the complex tapestry of family.
Nicknames often carry deep personal significance. For many, they evoke fond memories, personal anecdotes, or a specific phase in life. Updating a Facebook name to include a beloved nickname can make a profile feel more personal. It also allows friends and acquaintances who know the person by that nickname to find and connect with them more easily.
11. Legal Name Change
Life events might prompt a legal name change. Whether due to personal choice or legal necessities, when someone updates their official documents, they often want their Facebook profile to align. Ensuring consistency across both legal and social platforms helps individuals maintain a coherent identity, minimizing confusion among acquaintances and official entities alike.
12. To Match Other Social Media Platforms
Consistency in the digital realm is valuable. If a user has different names across social media platforms, it can create confusion. By aligning their Facebook name with other platforms, users create a unified online identity. This cohesion makes it easier for friends, colleagues, or potential business partners to find and recognize them across the internet.
13. Rebranding After a Scandal or Negative Publicity
Negative publicity can tarnish a reputation. Sometimes, a fresh start is necessary. Changing a name on Facebook can be a strategic move to distance oneself from controversies or past mistakes. While it doesn’t erase the past, a new name can offer a semblance of a clean slate, allowing individuals to rebuild their online reputation.
14. Avoiding Confusion
Sharing a name with a famous person or a controversial figure can be unintentionally problematic. To dodge unwanted associations or confusions, a Facebook name change might be in order. This action helps to create a distinct online identity, ensuring friends and acquaintances can find the right person without any mix-ups.
15. Celebration or Affiliation
Names can be dynamic, reflecting temporary passions or affiliations. Users might modify their Facebook name to support a cause, honor an event, or affiliate with a group. Such changes, while temporary, highlight the user’s dedication to a particular moment or movement, fostering community spirit and shared enthusiasm.
Risks Associated with Changing Your Name on Facebook
1. Confusion Among Friends and Contacts
Changing one’s Facebook name can lead to bewilderment among friends and acquaintances. They might question whether they’ve found the right profile or if they’re interacting with an impersonator. These doubts can dilute the trust built over years. Some friends might even hesitate to share personal news or information, fearing they’re communicating with a stranger. Over time, this confusion can weaken personal connections, making online interactions feel impersonal and strained.
2. Professional Implications
A name serves as a brand, especially for professionals. Changing it on Facebook can hinder networking opportunities. Colleagues, clients, or potential employers familiar with the old name might struggle to locate or recognize the profile. This can lead to missed job opportunities, lost connections, or overlooked collaborations. Maintaining a consistent professional identity ensures seamless interactions and upholds one’s credibility in the industry.
3. Verification Issues
Facebook values authenticity. Altering one’s name frequently or choosing unconventional names can raise red flags. The platform might scrutinize the authenticity of such accounts, leading to reviews or suspensions. Users might find themselves locked out, unable to access cherished memories, messages, or contacts. This disrupts the user experience and can cause distress, especially if the suspension lasts for an extended period.
4. Trust Issues
Trust forms the foundation of any relationship. A sudden name change on Facebook can erode this trust. Friends and contacts might speculate about the reasons, wondering about potential hacking or impersonation. This skepticism can spill over into real-life interactions, causing tension or doubts. Transparent communication becomes crucial to dispel any myths and restore faith among the network.
5. Consistency Across Platforms
Digital consistency is vital for personal and professional branding. A change in the Facebook name might disrupt this uniformity. If the name differs from other social media profiles or online platforms, it can fragment the user’s online presence. Such inconsistency can confuse followers, lead to mistaken identities, and dilute the overall digital impact.
6. Potential for Misidentification
Assuming a common name or one shared by a celebrity can be problematic. People might confuse the profile with another individual’s, leading to unwanted friend requests, messages, or mistaken tags. This can flood one’s notifications with irrelevant content, making the platform less enjoyable and more chaotic.
7. Missed Opportunities
Every name carries a history and recognition. When altered on Facebook, users risk becoming invisible to those searching for the old name. These searches could be by long-lost friends, potential business associates, or even recruiters. Missing these connections can lead to lost friendships, overlooked job opportunities, or missed collaborations.
8. Emotional Impact
Names carry personal significance. Changing it, especially due to life events like marriage or divorce, can stir strong emotions. Users might grapple with feelings of identity loss, nostalgia, or even grief. Additionally, unsolicited reactions from friends can magnify these emotions, making the platform a source of stress rather than connection.
9. Privacy Concerns
Seeking privacy might backfire. A name change meant to increase privacy might inadvertently draw attention, especially if friends openly comment on or question the decision. This increased visibility can counteract the original intent, making the user feel more exposed rather than protected.
10. Issues with Third-party Apps and Services
Facebook credentials often serve as a gateway to other online services. A name change can confuse these third-party platforms, leading to potential login disruptions. Users might find themselves locked out of favorite apps, unable to access services, or facing verification hurdles, making their digital experience frustrating.
11. Facebook’s Policies
Facebook enforces strict name change guidelines. Flouting these, whether intentionally or unknowingly, can have consequences. The platform might penalize users, restrict their account access, or demand additional verifications. This interrupts the usual Facebook experience and can be particularly distressing for those unaware of the platform’s stringent policies.
12. Legal and Official Complications
Aligning the Facebook name with one’s legal name simplifies identity validation. However, if they differ, it can lead to complications in situations requiring identity proof. Discrepancies might raise doubts, leading to delays or mistrust in both online and offline scenarios.
13. Potential Harassment
Name changes, especially for public figures, can attract unwanted attention. Trolls, detractors, or overly curious individuals might bombard the user with messages, friend requests, or comments. This unwanted attention can become a source of stress, diminishing the pleasure of using the platform.
14. Search Engine Results
The internet rarely forgets. Even after a Facebook name change, search engines might display results linked to the old name. This digital footprint can be hard to escape, leading to potential privacy breaches or unwanted associations with the past.
15. Reverting to the Original Name
Facebook imposes restrictions on rapid name reversions. This can pose challenges for those wishing to revert quickly. The waiting period can be frustrating, especially for users who didn’t anticipate the implications of their initial change.