Facebook will be removing certain inactive accounts next week from Pages’ like counts, a step that will probably result in Page owners seeing a drop in likes.

In a blog post this morning, Facebook said, “To make audience data even more meaningful for businesses, we’re updating the way Page likes are counted by removing memorialized and voluntarily deactivated accounts from Pages’ like counts.”

Facebook said there are two main reasons why it is making this move. First, because it will improve business results, giving “businesses up-to-date insights on the people who actively follow their Page and [making] it easier for businesses to find people like their followers through tools like lookalike audiences.”

At the same time, the company also wants to make business results consistent with individual users’ experiences. Facebook said it already filters out “likes and comments generated by deactivated or memorialized accounts from individual Page posts.”

The decrease in likes will begin March 12, Facebook said, and should continue over the next few weeks. The social network wrote that Page administrators should see a “small dip” in their likes. But while some may object to losing likes, they should remember, Facebook said, “that these removed likes represent people who were already inactive on Facebook.”

If deactivated accounts are reactivated, any likes coming from those accounts will be re-added to a Page’s like count.

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