Facebook Purging Fake Accounts
Did your business page on Facebook lose a significant number of fans yesterday and today? If so, do not be surprised if you lose even more over the coming months. However, do not fret about it as you most likely didn't do anything to alienate or irritate your followers and hence, incite a mass exodus.
Beginning yesterday, Facebook began an intensive process of purging tens of thousands of fake accounts and fake page likes from their massive social network in an attempt to improve their overall website integrity, relevance, and value.
TechCrunch points to Zynga Texas HoldEm Poker as an example of a business page hit massively hard by the fake account purging, as it lost a whopping 96,000 fans in a single day as a result of Facebook's new campaign.
1 Percent of Likes Removed on Average
According to Facebook, an average of 1% of Likes will be removed from any given page on its site. Of course, your mileage may vary depending on whether you and your fans have been following Facebook's terms and conditions, and whether you've been engaging in any black-hat practices such as purchasing Likes through illegitimate means.
If a loss of 96,000 fans for Zynga Texas HoldEm Poker sounds terrible, it really isn't -- the business page has over 63,000,000 fans, representing a drop of just 0.15%. TechCrunch reports that popular pages such as those for Leo Messi, Justin Bieber and South Park also lost fans numbering in the tens of thousands, though the average loss among these examples was just 0.03%.
A Good Thing Even for Those Hit Hardest
Purely from a numbers perspective, you may be upset to find that your page has only 9,500 Likes today when it surpassed that coveted 10,000 mark just yesterday. However, getting rid of fake accounts and fake Likes is actually a good thing for site developers and business owners. In general, this is because hackers who manufacture fake accounts, and therefore fake Likes, rarely participate in a page after taking those initial actions. They'll never Like your status updates, or provide meaningful comments that add to the discussion on your page.
With your page free of fake accounts and Likes, you'll know exactly what percentage of your fan base responded to your status update favorably, with real Likes. Before, it would've appeared that a smaller percentage of your fans cared about your update.
For all Facebook account holders, the purging means a reduction in spam comments, fake friend requests, and a more accurate picture of how many people are really on Facebook.
From here on out, Facebooks faces a bit of a problem. Many fake accounts and Likes will be gone forever, but how will they prevent new fake accounts from being created? Anyone who has used Facebook since its humble beginnings in 2004 or 2005 knows that the signup process has become exponentially easier and less demanding of verification information, so for now there doesn't seem to be any way of reducing the influx of new fake accounts other than periodic mass purges.