Approximately 10 percent of all Facebook accounts are duplicates and between two to three percentage points of them are fake, according to the latest estimates from the Menlo Park, California-based social media giant. The company's consolidated financial report for the third quarter of the year boasted about a lot of positives, with Facebook posting its most successful quarter to date, but not without discreetly adjusting some estimates regarding potential issues with its main user base count. As of September 30th, the largest social media network in the world estimated its number of users to be around the 2.07 billion mark but now believes that approximately 207 million of its accounts are duplicates. Compared to the last quarter, Facebook's number of duplicate accounts almost doubled, though the company attributes the jump from six to ten percent over a three-month period to a new methodology it started employing to identify matching accounts belonging to the same people.
While the firm didn't provide many details on its revamped efforts to identify duplicate profiles, it suggested that the new technique features more data signals indicative of such accounts during its earnings call with investors held last Wednesday. The percentage of fake accounts on Facebook doubled or possibly tripled over the last observed period, with Facebook now estimating up to three percent of its user profiles don't belong to whom they claim or are presented as being run by people who don't exist. The company's previous financial report put that number at only one percentage point but it's currently unclear whether the sudden increase is also a result of a revised methodology or if it could be a start of a new worrying trend.
The social media firm is planning on utilizing its new duplicate account identifiers to improve its advertising tools and allow marketers to target users in a more accurate manner, Business Insider reported last week, citing a source with knowledge of the initiative. The change is said to primarily reflect Facebook's user reach estimates shown to advertisers which are understood to be smaller once the new system is implemented, though no specific time frame for its availability has yet been revealed by any credible insiders.