Facebook is set to have a mass clear-out by removing deactivated accounts and pages owned by people who have died.
The purge, which is set to begin in the next few weeks, will only include manually deactivated accounts, so anyone who simply hasn’t logged in for while won’t have to worry about their account being removed.
It will mean, however, that some pages could see their number of “Likes” decrease.
The Independent reports that when Instagram carried out a similar removal process in December last year, some follower accounts fell by as much as 15 per cent. Facebook is thought to have less of an issue with spam accounts, so the drop is likely to be less sever, however, it is still surprising that the social network has not implemented an account removal initiative sooner.
According to TechCrunch, Facebook is only expecting a “slight dip” in the number of followers, however, the exact number will vary depending on the popularity of each particular page. It has been pointed out that social media executives that are judged on how many followers their Facebook page has may want to prepare themselves for the oncoming decrease.
Some Facebook users have criticised the decision to remove the likes, claiming that it was the individual’s choice to “Like” a page and deactivation, or even death, should not negate that. However, from Facebook’s point-of-view “Likes” are engagement drivers, and people who are no longer account holders are no longer potential customers.