On March 5th, Facebook released a blog post titled “Making Page Likes More Meaningful,” in which they outline how and why they will be removing certain inactive accounts next week from pages’ like counts, a move that will likely result in page owners seeing a drop in likes.
Facebook said there are two main reasons why they are making this move:
First, they hope improve business results by giving “businesses up-to-date insights on the people who actively follow their page and make it easier for businesses to find people like their followers through tools like lookalike audiences.”
Secondly, they hope to achieve more consistent results based on individual users’ experiences. They mention that they already filter out “likes and comments generated by deactivated or memorialized accounts from individual Page posts.”
The decrease in likes will begin on March 12th and will continue to roll out over the next few weeks. While Facebook says that most pages should only see a “small dip” in their likes, they reiterate “that these removed likes represent people who were already inactive on Facebook.”
Likes from profiles that could be considered “inactive” because the user just hasn’t logged in for a while will continue to count. And if any previously deactivated accounts are reactivated, any likes coming from those accounts will be re-added to a page’s like count.
In this end, this move shouldn’t come as much of a surprise as we’ve seen other social networks attempting to rid itself of “fake” followers and likes. This shouldn’t have too much of an impact on your page, however, if part of your job performance is based on your company Facebook page’s numbers, then it’s probably a good idea to let your superiors know in advance what to expect.