Social media giant Facebook has revealed that there are now more than 83 million illegitimate accounts active on the site.
The figures were announced along with the company’s quarterly review, and illustrated that 8.7% of the 955 million active accounts had broken Facebook rules. More than half of this figure is made up of duplicated profiles, which already belonged to registered users. A figure of 4.8% of Facebook accounts were duplicate profiles.
Personal profiles for pets or businesses, which are referred to as user misclassified accounts, amounted to 2.4%. The remaining 1.5% of users were referred to as ‘undesirable’.
The figures are extremely relevant at this point in time given the growing concern about the effectiveness of Facebook as an online marketing solution. Several high profile advertisers have declared the scepticism in the benefit of advertising via Facebook, despite the site being the most popular social network available.
Facebook’s business model relies on targeted advertising and is under increased scrutiny as to the worth of the ‘likes’ which its promotions gather from users.
Last week, Limited Press, the digital distribution firm, claimed that their research had found that 80% of clicks on its Facebook advertisements had been made by fake users. The company released a statement, via Facebook, which read: "Bots were loading pages and driving up our advertising costs. So we tried contacting Facebook about this. Unfortunately, they wouldn't reply.
"Do we know who the bots belong too [sic]? No. Are we accusing Facebook of using bots to drive up advertising revenue. No. Is it strange? Yes."
Facebook will look into the fake profile issue, in an attempt to improve the effectiveness of its advertising model.