Facebook will cut inactive page ‘likes,’ but offer brands more data

In an effort to make information on the social network relevant to marketers, Facebook announced two initiatives that will help brand managers understand audiences.

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Facebook recently announced it would start removing “likes” from deactivated and memorialized accounts. (Memorialized accounts are for friends and family to remember an individual who has died.) Though the purging will start as early as Thursday, it will take a few weeks for the changes to affect all pages’ “likes.”

Facebook will remove only voluntarily deactivated and memorialized accounts, saying in a company blog post, “This change ensures that data on Facebook is consistent and up to date.”

Social media managers should only see a small dip in “likes” on brand pages, which, according to Facebook, will help the social network to give brands “up-to-date insights on the people who actively follow” a company. It will also make it each brand’s Facebook Insights more relevant.

It’s not the only announcement that will help PR and marketing pros understand their audiences: In the U.S. and U.K. on Tuesday, Facebook launched “Topic Data,” which “shows marketers what audiences are saying on Facebook about events, brands, subjects and activities.”

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