In the coming weeks, Facebook page owners may see a sudden decline in their page likes as the social networking site is set to change the manner in which it counts "likes."

On Thursday, March 5, Facebook revealed that it will discontinue the incorporation of page likes from individuals whose Facebook accounts have been deactivated or "memorialized" (for users who have passed away).

Likes are a significant means of measuring the popularity of a page. This metric is observed closely by advertisers as well.

"Over the coming weeks, Page admins should expect to see a small dip in their number of Page likes as a result of this update," reads the Facebook blog post. "It's important to remember, though, that these removed likes represent people who were already inactive on Facebook."

However, if you manage a page on Facebook, don't press the alarm button just yet because the changes will only be applicable to likes on business and celebrity pages on the social networking site.

So, why is Facebook suddenly implementing this policy change? This is in order for businesses to get a clearer and more accurate picture of their audience on the site. Moreover, it will help Facebook maintain consistency since the site filters the comments and likes that are generated by accounts that have been memorialized or deactivated.

Facebook will basically be reducing the page likes by accounts that are deactivated manually or have been memorialized after the owner's death. However, users whose accounts are inactive because they do not log in frequently need not worry as the likes from their account will continue to count.

Moreover, in the event a user reactivates a deactivated account, then the like will be re-added to the page.

The change in Facebook policy will go into effect in the "coming weeks." One report says the drop in likes will start from Mar. 12 and continue for a few weeks.

If you're worried about how many likes your Facebook page may lose, then get marketing more aggressively!

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