Facebook announced that it is making changes to the way Page likes are counted, as it removes memorialized and voluntarily deactivated accounts from Pages' like counts. In other words, you may soon see your Page's like count drop a bit.
Will you be glad to see these likes go? Let us know in the comments.
According to Facebook, this will make audience data more meaningful for businesses, and ensure the data on Facebook is consistent and up-to-date.
"Removing inactive Facebook accounts from Page audience data gives businesses up-to-date insights on the people who actively follow their Page and makes it easier for businesses to find people like their followers through tools like lookalike audiences," Facebook says in a blog post. "We already filter out likes and comments generated by deactivated or memorialized accounts from individual Page posts, so this update keeps data consistent."
"Everyone benefits from meaningful information on Facebook," it says. "It’s our hope that this update makes Pages even more valuable for businesses."
If your like count is going to drop, you should notice it within the coming weeks. As the company notes, it's important to keep in mind that these likes represented users that were already inactive on Facebook.
Also, likes from accounts that were voluntarily reactivated will be reinstated if the account is reactivated.
The feedback from Page owners appears to be mostly positive. Most are happy to have higher quality data, as inactive users don't have a lot to contribute to a page other than an artificially inflated like count.
Well-known Facebook marketing expert Mari Smith, whom we recently interviewed about utilizing some of Facebook's recently added features, commented, "Excellent - good news!!"
Demont Daniel, CEO of Comp Bottles, commented, "Attention Facebook Page Managers, be prepared to lose page likes in the coming weeks and explain to your boss/clients the reasons why... #dontpanic."
Some think Facebook should go further and remove fake accounts. As a matter of fact, Facebook has gone after fraudulent likes in the past. Back in 2012, Facebook announced increased efforts to remove likes gained by means that violate their terms.
Facebook went after likes that came from malware, fake accounts, compromised accounts, and bulk purchases. The company said at the time:
“A Like that doesn’t come from someone truly interested in connecting with a Page benefits no one. Real identity, for both users and brands on Facebook, is important to not only Facebook’s mission of helping the world share, but also the need for people and customers to authentically connect to the Pages they care about. When a Page and fan connect on Facebook, we want to ensure that connection involves a real person interested in hearing from a specific Page and engaging with that brand’s content."
Facebook was built on the principle of real identity and we want this same authenticity to extend to Pages."
Commenting on the new announcement, one page owner even went so far as to suggest Facebook get rid of likes from accounts that aren't active "likers"
The problem with that is that it's up to Facebook itself whether users even see posts in the News Feed, so just because a person isn't actively liking a Page's posts, doesn't mean they wouldn't if they were actually seeing posts from that Page more often.
I'm sure I don't have to tell you about the whole decline in organic reach thing.
Are you glad to see Facebook wipe out likes from inactive accounts? Let us know in the comments.