Today, Facebook gave Page owners a heads up about an upcoming change that’s going to cause a drop in Page likes. The company is going to change the way likes are counted in order to deliver more accurate data.
So don’t worry, your audience hasn’t suddenly abandoned you, chances are the likes you’re about to lose hold little value anyway. The reason for that is because Facebook will no longer be counting Page likes from deactivated and memorialized accounts.
As a result of this change, like counts will always be consistent and up-to-date. If a deactivated account is re-activated, the like count will be adjusted accordingly.
Facebook’s reasoning behind this is two-fold — improved business results and greater consistency. “Everyone benefits from meaningful information on Facebook. It’s our hope that this update makes Pages even more valuable for businesses.”
This can ultimately be looked at as a good thing because it means no more inflated numbers. I suspect the Pages that will get hit the most are those who pay for likes, or try to artificially enhance their numbers in some other way. Whereas Pages that have grown their audience organically probably won’t notice as much of a drop.
An exact date for when this change will be rolled out was not mentioned, but chances are the social media community will be buzzing about it when it happens, so stay tuned.