In the latest of a long line of updates, Facebook has removed Likes from Public Pages. It is one of a few changes recently made, and we take a look at the impact.

Facebook recently unveiled some changes to Pages. The social media giant has had a rocky couple of years and sometimes seems to be shooting itself in the foot, but it seems these recent changes are more customer-directed. Facebook has often shown the way when it comes to making the user experience more fluid and smoother, and this update to Pages looks like it is fitting into that approach.

The changes

The first real change that Facebook has implemented concerns the actual user experience. It isn’t earth-shattering stuff, but the new layout is simply cleaner and easier to navigate. This is a big deal, ultimately, because having a more positive experience means that the platform will be used more. It looks and feels better and undeniably makes everything a little more pleasant and fresh.

There is also a rather neat little ‘account switcher’ feature, where users can easily jump between personal profiles and Pages. It’s simply a matter of hitting a ‘three dot’ button.

Then we have a dedicated News Feed for Pages, which is a new thing, and one that again will improve the overall experience. This is a great opportunity for Pages as branded entities, because now they will be able to get involved in News Feed activity and gain some real value. For example, trends in News Feeds can be followed and enable conversations and engagement with followers. Importantly, the News Feed experience will allow for more engagement across the board, with peers as well as followers and potential prospects.

Pages also seems to have some new safety and integrity improvements that are designed to reduce and remove hate speech, violent and sexual content, as well as other areas that cause offence and harm.

Then we have the changes that have happened around Likes.

Why remove Likes?

That’s what Facebook has done. Pages have been part of Facebook for a very long time. They are part of the furniture. But Facebook seems to think that Likes are not what they used to be when public Pages are involved.

The main rationale for removing Likes from Pages seems to be for the benefits of brands that use Pages. And when you look at the idea here, it kind of makes sense. Facebook feels that Followers is a much more important metric than Likes, simply because the number of Followers a Page has shows how many people receive updates from the Page.

This actually translates to an objective view of the popularity of the Page. People who follow a page may not necessarily Like content, but by detailing how many Followers are there, Pages administrators know how big the audience is.

It all seems part of a larger, concerted push to make Pages more effective for users. Brands can now focus on their user base, knowing exactly how large it is and planning strategy accordingly. The News Feed addition is something that naturally builds in engagement and the chance to become part of a brand conversation with users.

It remains to be seen how Pages will change for brands after these updates, but we can see how a brand would gain benefit from having a full indication of their Follower numbers, as well as that News Feed element. Used correctly, it could mean a much more positive experience for brands on Pages.

Read more: Facebook Cuts Brands’ Reach Again