Facebook has announced it is to changing the way Page likes are counted by removing 'memorialised' and voluntarily deactivated accounts from from the number of total likes every page has.
It’s unclear exactly how many accounts will be caught up in the removal, which will begin in the coming weeks.
Instagram removed followers from many accounts in December, reducing follower counts by as much as 15% — a fact that embarrassed some celebrities into deleting their accounts entirely.
This clean-up will probably be less extreme than that one, since Facebook is not thought to have such a problem with spam accounts, but could still lead to drastic reductions in the number of likes that any one page has.
Facebook only expects a “slight dip” in the number of followers but the exact number of followers lost will depend on the sizes of pages — some with many millions of likes can see a huge drop from only a tiny removal in percentage terms.
The move was announced in a company blog post.