UPDATED: Why Facebook Pages’ Like Totals May Drop

The bad news: Starting March 12, Facebook page administrators may start seeing lower like totals for their pages. The good news: The vanishing likes aren’t legit, anyway.

March12LikesDownThe bad news: Starting March 12, Facebook page administrators may start seeing lower like totals for their pages. The good news: The vanishing likes aren’t legit, anyway.
Reader Geoffrey Moffett of Triovia Media shared the screenshot above, in which page admins are seeing the following notice at the top of their admin panels:

We’ve recently updated the way we measure how many people like your page. Pages may see a decrease in likes after March 12, when we removed likes from inactive Facebook accounts.

UPDATED: Facebook confirmed the move in a Facebook for Business post, saying that the social network is focusing on accounts that were memorialized for deceased users, or voluntarily deactivated.
Facebook explained the reasons behind the move:

  • 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: We already filter out likes and comments generated by deactivated or memorialized accounts from individual page posts, so this update keeps data consistent.

And the social network informed page admins what they should expect:

Over the coming weeks, page admins should expect to see a small dip in their number of page likes as a result of this update. It’s important to remember, though, that these removed likes represent people who were already inactive on Facebook.
Going forward, any accounts that are voluntarily deactivated or memorialized will be removed from a page’s like count. If a deactivated account is reactivated, the account will be re-added to a page’s like count.

Page admins: What do you think of this move by Facebook?
Thumbs up/thumbs down image courtesy of Shutterstock.

david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.