Over the coming weeks, page administrators for businesses and celebrities should expect to see a small dip in their number of page likes. This is due to an upcoming change or update in the way that Facebook counts “Likes” to a page. Essentially, Facebook announced in early March that it would no longer factor in Likes from users who have either voluntarily deactivated their accounts or who have passed away (where the person’s page has been memorialized but is no longer active). With this shift, Facebook hopes that business information procured from Facebook pages becomes more meaningful and thus even more valuable for businesses.
Facebook is promoting this update as being beneficial for businesses in two specific ways:
- Improved Business Results: Facebook asserts that by removing inactive accounts from Like metrics, this gives businesses up-to-date insight into the audience that is actively following the page. This, in turn, makes it easier for business marketers to use tools like “lookalike audiences” to find people like their current followers.
- Increased Consistency: Facebook is already in the practice of filtering out likes and comments that were previously generated by deactivated or memorialized accounts. By incorporating this update into business page Likes, the user will benefit from much more consistent data across the board.
Basically, this change will offer business owners and marketers a much clearer and more accurate picture of their true Facebook audience. The Likes that are removed represent people who are already inactive on Facebook and thus aren’t impacted by any outreach efforts on behalf of the business. For those businesses who pay close attention to their Likes as an indicator of popularity with users and as a glimpse into the nature of their social media audience, this change will be particularly helpful.
So how will the change be implemented? Going forward, any voluntarily deactivated or memorialized accounts will be removed from a page’s Like count. However, if a deactivated account is reactivated again, the person will automatically be re-added to the business or celebrity page’s Likes.
Facebook for Business. “Making Page Likes More Meaningful.” 3/5/15. (3/13/15.) https://www.facebook.com/business/news/page-likes-update.
Mangalindan, JP. “Facebook Is Changing How It Counts Likes.” Mashable. 3/5/15. (3/13/15.) http://mashable.com/2015/03/05/facebook-changes-counts-likes/.