Facebook is a powerful tool for promoting a small business, but you may find the need to take a temporary break from the site. In order to accommodate those needs, Facebook allows users to temporarily deactivate accounts. The account is not deleted, but held in limbo until you are ready to begin using it again. There are no time limits or restrictions concerning account deactivation.
Reasons to Deactivate
Businesses may still want to keep their Facebook accounts, but need to take a break for various reasons. According to ABC News, many users are tired of constant privacy and feature changes. Businesses are no exception. When features change, such as the introduction of Timeline in 2012, a temporary break may be necessary to evaluate the best ways to take advantage of new changes.
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For businesses being bombarded with negative feedback, deactivating an account may be the best course of action until problems are resolved. This allows the business to focus on creating solutions versus choosing how to best reply to comments or even deleting fans.
Small businesses may jump into Facebook marketing and feel overwhelmed. While they learn how to best manage social networking or until they find a dedicated person for social marketing, deactivation is the best course to prevent the business from seeming disinterested in customer engagement.
Deactivate or Delete
Facebook provides two options when you no longer want to use your Facebook account. The first is deactivation. This does not delete your account. Basically, your account is hidden, but kept as is until you return. To deactivate, Facebook requires you to fill out a form. You are asked to provide a reason why you are deactivating. Basically, this helps Facebook better cater the site to the needs of users. You will see pictures from some friends stating the friend will miss you while you are gone. While this may seem like you are deleting your account, all friends will still be there when you choose to reactivate.
Deleting an account removes your profile, posts, images and friends. You cannot restore your account once it is deleted. Deletion requests must be made manually and have a waiting period to ensure you truly want to proceed. If you are not satisfied with an account, Facebook suggests deactivating first in case you change your mind at a later date.
What Happens to Your Account
According to Facebook, when you deactivate, your account is immediately hidden from all other users. No one can search for you or view your profile. You are not removed from any friend lists nor are friends removed from your account. Unless someone tries to view your profile, no one is aware your account has changed in any way.
During this time, you will not receive any notifications. Any apps you use will not be able to post on your behalf or notify you in any way. You account is essentially non-existent until you decide to reactivate it.
Your account remains this way until you login to Facebook again. You will then be able to reactivate. Logging in to any apps that use Facebook or into Facebook itself will reactivate your account.
What Happens to Your Pages
If you run any business or fan pages, you cannot administer them while your account is deactivated. Fans can still view and comment on old posts. You do have the option to unpublish a page while your account is inactive or allow another user to become an administrator.
Before you deactivate your account, check to see which pages you are the sole administrator for. If you deactivate, these pages will not be updated during your absence. If you want to remove the page during the interim, unpublish the page. This removes the page from search and prevent any new fans from liking the page. Alternately, you can appoint a new administrator. All you need is the person's email address. Once the other user accepts the invitation, he will be able to update the page during your absence from Facebook.