By Rotimi Akinola

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The decision by social media website Facebook to delete fake and inactive users from its database is set to take a toll on the number of page likes for outfits that use the service.

Many Nigerian and global businesses rely on social media likes/followers and other engagements to drive traffic to their websites.

There is, however, no cause for alarm except for those who built that Facebook audience unjustly.

Facebook owner, Mark Zuckerberg, “isn’t trying to slay your business because they need your business,” @ChappyMargot wrote in a WordStream blog, Monday.

“They’re simply scraping through Facebook accounts and removing inactive accounts whether that be a Facebook account manually deactivated by the user or an account that hasn’t been active for an extended period of time,” the blog post says.

“The change ensures that data on Facebook is consistent and up-to-date,” Facebook had said when the announcement was made, March 6.

Facebook said it would start scrapping the useless accounts “over the coming weeks”adding that they had already filtered out comments and other engagements generated by inactive accounts.

When the implementation starts, pages that garnered fake, nonexistent and  illicit likes would lose significant followers. The same would affect pages with inactive users, even those legitimately attracted.

The news, apart from the expected drastic dip in page likes, is essentially a good one as the accounts that would be deleted actually had limited bearing in generating web traffic or driving social media engagements in the first place.

Another good news is that “this change is going to improve your tracking, results, and probably the interactions on your page,” @ChappyMargot wrote.

The two main improvements for marketers include more accurate lookalike audiences and more accurate data. The twin developments would result in greater precision in ad targeting and performance evaluation.

So don’t panic or fire your social media manager/marketer if you start losing page likes in the coming weeks, @ChappyMargot advised.

The update may boost Facebook’s revenue as businesses may respond by committing more funds to garnering “legal” likes.

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