Dead Facebook accounts don’t Like you any more

Facebook Page managers may soon see a drop in their number of Likes as Facebook decide to no longer count Likes from inactive accounts.

The latest spring clean comes after Facebook already excluded post likes and shares by inactive accounts.

Though it is worth noting this cull will only apply to accounts that are manually deactivated or memorialised, very quiet accounts will continue to be included.

So why are Facebook doing this?

Facebook say it’s for two reasons – 1, Business Results and 2, Consistency.

By Business results it merely means that when businesses analyse their Facebook audience demographic, they are getting the most accurate reflection of their fans.

Fans that are actually using Facebook and actively engaging are the ones you want to target. Makes sense, though perhaps moreso for sites with very large followings.

It shouldn’t be much of an issue for those with smaller, core following groups.

And consistency, it keeps it in line with the existing policy of removing comments and post likes by inactive accounts.

It’s all pretty straightforward and, I would say, a welcome step. Whilst it may result in a dip in Likes, it is better for Page owners and Facebook as a whole.

Inactive accounts have no value to Page owners beyond the vanity metric of empty Likes. Whilst many thrive on the vanity Likes, it is just that – vanity.

Real users are sanity.

What is interesting is to see Facebook working proactively to remove the influence of worthless accounts (though it’s important to note there will be many accounts still included that are effectively worthless). Something their friends over at Twitter have been seemingly a bit more reluctant towards.

With Twitter there seems to be a problem with fake accounts as much as simply inactive ones, Twitter has previously stated that they “currently estimate that false or spam accounts represent less than 5% of our MAUs (Monthly Active Users)”.

If we take 5% as a rough estimate from the current tally of 288m users, that translates as around 14 million fake or spam accounts. That’s a lot. Particularly with the rise of third party companies offering Fake Followers for sale. (It’s also worth bearing in mind that the barriers to account creation are very low for Twitter.)

I’m sure we all know Twitter accounts that are quite obviously built on fake follow numbers and use this as a vanity metric in the marketplace both as businesses and individuals.

Personally, I’d like to see Twitter do more to reduce this fakery trend and penalise those unsavoury types who avail of fake followers but I fear progress will be limited. Twitter now has investors to please and those investors keep a close eye on Twitter’s user growth (something many have seen as too slow).

Do they have a real impetus to wipe 14m+ users off that tally to improve quality, accuracy and user experience? Or is the expense of investor confidence just too high a price?

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