Why your Facebook Page has fewer likes

Not all “likes” are created equal.

Facebook said Friday that it has doubled down on its efforts to suss out the fraudulent likes on Pages. The social network is putting to use improved automated technologies to more aggressively remove likes that Pages either didn’t earn or acquired on the equivalent of a Facebook like black market.

“These newly improved automated efforts will remove those Likes gained by malware, compromised accounts, deceived users, or purchased bulk Likes,” Facebook’s security team said in a blog post Friday.

Facebook Pages that have been following the rules may notice that a marginal amount of their “likes,” or less than 1 percent on average, have been wiped out. More duplicitous Page owners, however, may not be so fortunate.

Facebook is couching the update as one rooted in improving the integrity of its social network.

“Users will continue to connect to the Pages and Profiles they authentically want to subscribe to, and Pages will have a more accurate measurement of fan count and demographics,” the company said. “This improvement will allow Pages to produce ever more relevant and interesting content, and brands will see an increase in the true engagement around their content.”

Surely another motivation is to make its advertising business more attractive to buyers. It is, of course, essential for the social network to ensure that advertisers’ sponsored messages reach real people. Since likes factor into the process, Facebook needs to police them as much as possible.

Photo credit: Rubén Díaz Alonso/Flickr


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