Facebook very recently announced that it’s making some changes to the way page likes are counted. To make these likes more meaningful, FB is removing memorialized and voluntarily deactivated accounts from pages’ likes counts.
I know some may panic at that news because it sounds like their fan numbers will decrease. However, this update will be really useful to page managers, because now the data will be consistent, current, and much more accurate.
What’s going to happen?
Facebook stated that over the next few weeks (after the 12th of March), page admins will see a dip in the number of page likes. They specifically mention that these removed likes represent people who were already inactive on Facebook (that’s why their likes aren’t helpful anyway, and that’s why this update is a change for the better).
A couple of things to note about likes from deactivated accounts:
- Although they’re removing likes from deactivated accounts, if those accounts are reactivated at a later stage, that specific like will be added back to your overall page count.
- Only likes from manually deactivated accounts will be removed. Likes from inactive accounts will still be included in the total fan fount.
As for memorialized accounts―“a way for people on Facebook to remember and celebrate those who’ve passed away”―it’s obvious why these add absolutely no value to your page engagement.
Why is a lower likes count beneficial?
I manage a page with thousands and thousands of page likes, but it’s very disheartening to see how few of those people engage with or even get to see our posts. Many of those fans ‘liked’ the page but unfollowed it, many are inactive on Facebook, and many simply represent paid likes.
But Facebook’s decision to remove irrelevant likes means no more inflated numbers and less focus on “vanity metrics” (likes and followers count). There are two specific, concrete benefits to this change:
- Business results: 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.
- Consistency: FB already filters out likes and comments generated by deactivated or memorialized accounts from individual page posts, so this update keeps data consistent.
So in this case, losing Facebook page likes is most likely to improve your FB marketing strategy! What do you think about the upcoming changes?