Facebook has implemented countermeasures to purge fake, forged, hacked or otherwise unsavory 'Likes' from its pages, resulting in the sudden departure of several hundred thousand of Zynga's several hundred million fans.
The 'Like' is a powerful unit of measurement in today's Facebook-connected world. For the average consumer of social media content the number of 'Likes' an application or product has can influence whether or not those apps and products are worth their time. For marketers and advertisers 'Like' numbers are waved about like stacks of dollar bills, a means of measuring what was one significantly less measurable. Facebook is taking steps today to ensure those measurements are as accurate as possible, so its removing the fake ones from the formula.
One of the biggest losers in the great purge so far has been Zynga's Texas HoldEm Poker, with more than 100,000 fans lost. FarmVille lost 41,000, CityVille 25,000 and Mafia Wars 21,000.
Zynga wasn't the only big loser in the game department. Ninja Saga lost 21,000 fans today, and a game called 德州撲克(中文版) finds itself short nearly 42,000, according to information gathered from AppData.
The numbers seem large on their lonesome, but as TechCrunch points out it all amounts to a drop in the bucket for most pages. Texas HoldEm Poker, for instance, has 65 million fans. A 100,000 fan drop isn't much more than .15 per cent.
Facebook told TechCrunch that on average most pages wouldn't see more than a one per cent drop in fans, as long as said pages were following Facebook guidelines and not buying 'Likes' from disreputable sources or tricking users into hitting the old thumbs up.