Beginning from the 15th March, Facebook fan page admins claimed a loss of fans and were unsure of the reason for the decreasing number. As a result of Facebook users who did not know an answer, many presumptions started to spread in the social web trying to find an answer to the sudden changes.

The answer: Facebook changed the metric for the “total like count”

As we were eager to answer the question of who was influenced to a larger scale, we analyzed Facebook pages separated into two size groups. First, pages above one million likes and those, which have less than one million.

With the new metric adjustment Facebook does not count inactive accounts anymore and stopped including manually deleted profiles in the total fan count. Through this adjustment fan pages with more than 1 Million fans lost more than 4% on average. Pages that have less than 1 Million likes lost slightly less likes and their total fan count decreased by almost 3% on average. As seen in the screenshot below the negative trend for smaller pages continues at the moment. These effects might persist for a while longer, but the “Fan Change Rate” will likely stabilize soon.

Pages with less than 1 Million likes lost almost 3% of their likes, for now

Online Appearance

Pages with more than 1 Million likes lost more than 4% of their fans

Online Appearance

Even though many fan pages lost numerous fans, Facebook’s metric update is a positive adjustment for analyzing data, as figures will be more accurate and through that more reliable in the future. As social media analysis tools are calculating the ratio between follower count and engagement, figures will be more precise from now on, as deactivated people are not able to engage anymore.