Who doesn't want to be "Liked"?
Indeed, the Holy Grail of Facebook is to be "Liked," especially if you have a page -- either one of a personal nature or that of a brand.
Well, as in all budding friendships, being truly "Liked" takes time. It takes trust. It takes patience. It takes ... a click, at least in the case of Facebook.
Yet some of us have no patience for the slow, steady, satisfying build of organically growing an authentic, genuine connection with cliques of real people. We want all the clicks we can get and we want them now. So we find other ways to be "Liked" -- such as paying a third-party service $120 for 2,000 new "friends." Of course, these so-called "real Likes" are not really your friends or customers or even remotely interested in you or the thousands of other Pages they've "Liked." They're merely warm ... what? Bodies? Bots? Old ladies in Indonesia with nothing better to do? Whatever they are, they noticeably boost your numbers, presumably increase your "social metrics," and provide you the illusion of being immensely popular. In other words, purchased "Likes" can turn anyone into a Prom Queen.
Is it worth it? Not even remotely. Let's look at it this way. Say you have 10 real "Likes" and decide to purchase 10,000 fake "Likes." You now have 10,010 "Likes." But you really only have 10 "Likes." Those other 10,000 "Likes"? Lies and deceit. So, wouldn't you really rather have 10 people who madly, truly, deeply liked what you and/or your company had to say, who were genuinely engaged with your message rather than 10,000 "Likes" generated by some 82-year-old woman in Indonesia who gets paid a pittance to click mouse button all day?
Facebook sure seems to think so. And on Wednesday, the company commenced a purge of all "Likes" gained by means other than honest. It announced it was going to do so in an August missive entitled "Improvements to Our Site Integrity Systems." Perhaps a better name for it would have been "You're About to Become a Lot Less Popular." Yet here's how Facebook, ever the diplomat, couched it.
A Like that doesn't come from someone truly interested in connecting with a Page benefits no one. Real identity, for both users and brands on Facebook, is important to not only Facebook's mission of helping the world share, but also the need for people and customers to authentically connect to the Pages they care about. When a Page and fan connect on Facebook, we want to ensure that connection involves a real person interested in hearing from a specific Page and engaging with that brand's content. As such, we have recently increased our automated efforts to remove Likes on Pages that may have been gained by means that violate our Facebook Terms.
On average, less than 1% of Likes on any given Page will be removed, providing they and their affiliates have been abiding by our terms. These newly improved automated efforts will remove those Likes gained by malware, compromised accounts, deceived users, or purchased bulk Likes. While we have always had dedicated protections against each of these threats on Facebook, these improved systems have been specifically configured to identify and take action against suspicious Likes.
So, the Great Facebook "Likes" Purge of 2012 has begun. It's a story you'll want to tell your grandkids one day, in between "Likes." Meanwhile, we're already noticing a huge difference in various numbers on the site as "Likes" are banished from the Land of Facebook to ... to ... well, we have no idea. Our best guess is MySpace.
Now pardon us while we go "Like" our new Technocrat page on Facebook. Please, feel free to "Like" us, too. Provided you're real.
Image source: Page Data
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