Brands Lose 100K+ Fans After Facebook Purges Accounts

Have you noticed a recent drop in your Facebook fan count? Maybe your engagement rates have spiked? Wondering what in the world happened? The answer is surprisingly straightforward, and looks like it could be quite beneficial.

Over the last couple weeks, Facebook has deleted millions of voluntarily deactivated and memorialized accounts, leading to reductions in brand fan counts. Thankfully, none of the changes caused a huge percentage drop like we experienced with The Great Instagram Purge of 2014, but the reductions were still noticeable.

empty facebook photoLooking at a dozen different brands, we saw an average loss of 2.6%, and only two brands lost more than 5% of their Facebook fans. Though the two brands with the most fans saw some of the biggest percentage losses that we experienced, for the most part, there doesn’t appear to be any strong correlation between the amount of fans and percentage of change. All but two brands saw at least a 2% decline in their fan count.


Brand Before After # Lost % Change
Brand A 8,300,000 7,900,000 400,000 -4.82
Brand B 1,950,000 1,850,000 100,000 -5.13
Brand C 1,650,000 1,600,000 50,000 -3.03
Brand D 1,420,000 1,390,000 30,000 -2.11
Brand E 1,020,000 980,000 40,000 -3.92
Brand F 900,000 885,000 15,000 -1.67
Brand G 870,000 840,000 30,000 -3.45
Brand H 810,000 790,000 20,000 -2.47
Brand I 510,000 480,000 30,000 -5.88
Brand J 350,000 335,000 15,000 -4.29
Brand K 163,000 158,000 5,000 -3.07
Brand L 110,000 108,000 2,000 -1.82


While almost no brand (right?) wants to lose fans, this could look good on the scorecards of brands that place an emphasis on engagement. Yes, it certainly sounds impressive to throw huge numbers out for potential reach during a meeting, but if not all of those accounts are real, it’s all for naught. By removing inactive accounts, engagement numbers will certainly be more accurate, and engagement rates may increase over time (although we haven’t seen any notable shifts yet).

More reliable engagement rates are great, but getting more value for your dollar is even better! With this removal of inactive accounts, brands won’t be spending precious Facebook ad dollars to reach inactive accounts. As a result, CPM rates could effectively be lower, and, at the very least, you can rest assured you’re reaching real people.



Ignite Social Media