Facebook will stop counting likes from some accounts
Facebook is changing how it counts “likes” across its Pages for celebrities and businesses. The social networking giant said Thursday it will no longer include likes from people who have deactivated their accounts or who have died. Facebook likes are an important measure of a Page’s popularity and are a metric that advertisers closely watch.
The new like numbers, Facebook said, will be more accurate and give advertisers a better understanding of their audience.
“It’s important to remember…that these removed Likes represent people who were already inactive on Facebook,” the company said in a blog post. “Everyone benefits from meaningful information on Facebook.”
Whether Facebook Page owners will appreciate the change is another question. Initially created as a way for celebrities and businesses to interact for free with Facebook users, Pages have been criticized for their opaque functionality.
In theory, users who like a Facebook Page will see new items posted to it. Because I like the Facebook page for “Star Wars,” for example, I should see updates about the next film. But it doesn’t always work that way. Facebook uses an algorithm to determine what types of posts I interact with the most, and that means some items from friends, family and Pages don’t show up in in my feed each day.Facebook has further tweaked its algorithm to remove overly promotional items from news feeds, effectively removing unpaid ads sent through Pages.
Meanwhile, Facebook has been nudging Page owners to pay for ads instead. Last year, Facebook toured the US with workshops to educate small businesses about its advertising technology. It has also been expanding the types of ads that can be shown, allowing companies to post videos, links and even “buy” buttons.
But advertisers still want data, particularly to determine whether their Facebook campaigns have been successful. Facebook has already enhanced its tracking technology to help advertisers see how their ads affect users’ purchasing decisions. Offering more accurate data about the users who like a Page is likewise meant to increase the accuracy of data.