Facebook Page owners are getting notices via email this week about a pair of impending changes to how Facebook counts check-ins.
Facebook says the changes will provide “a more accurate picture of how people are visiting your business.”
In the past, all check-ins counted in the “were here” total. Going forward, Facebook will only count one check-in every 12 hours from the same user. The change means that many businesses will soon look less popular, because check-in counts are one of the stats that Facebook shows to all Page visitors.
The email also mentions a change to how Facebook counts photo tags in relation to location check-ins.
Here’s the full text of Facebook’s alert to Page owners:
We are revising check-in numbers on Facebook pages to give you a more accurate picture of how people are visiting your business. Among these changes, previously, if an individual checked into your business multiple times, each check-in was counted into your Page’s total check-in number. Now, if someone checks into your business multiple times within a 12-hour period, that action will be counted as one unique check-in.
In addition, when people tag their friends at a location and upload a photo, those photo tags will be counted more holistically. For example, if 20 photos were uploaded to an album at a specific location, we’ll now count that as a single check-in. If Jessica checks into a location and tags five friends in the photo she uploads with her check-in, the total check-ins number will be six — Jessica plus her five friends.
I received the alert this morning as part of the weekly update of statistics for the Facebook Pages that I manage. There’s no specific indication about when the new counts will take effect, though I’ll speculate that it may happen as soon as tomorrow when the final Timeline transition takes effect.