Just a week after I post a blog defending the use of fake likes for start up companies, and facebook comes out and says they’re cracking down on illegitimate likes. Typical.
My original argument was that buying likes can be a good way to build trust in your ideas and encourage more people to like your page. Unfortunately Facebook doesn’t see things this way and are therefore taking steps to eradicate them from Facebook fan pages. Their reasoning is that by artificially inflating your number of likes it encourages more fake accounts and empty activity, which is of no interest to investors and advertisers. It also makes it difficult for users to see which pages can be trusted and may lead them to allow malware sites access their information based on fraudulent likes.
Facebook will now be using automated tools to detect and remove fake likes from hijacked accounts – just like Twitter, fake accounts will usually have very little activity except for liking large quantities of pages. These accounts can be used to direct users to malware sites, and to drive up cpc advertising costs. We’ve already seen one company pull out of using facebook for advertising after they suspected a high percentage of the clicks on their ads were coming from bots.
The question is, how will we see these changes take place? Will pages suddenly see their number of likes fall?