Facebook has banned “like-gating”!

“Like our page!” is a phrase you won’t see much anymore following a recent change to Facebook’s Policy. Good for users, but not good for folks relying on likes to get Facebook recognition.

What is like-gating? When a Facebook page makes you “like” a page before you can see all the content, typically an application or tab on your page. The content could be anything. The point is to inflate the number of likes a page gets. The more likes, the bigger the potential audience.

A post, Aug 7th,  on Facebook’s Developers blog announced that Facebook was updating their Platform Policy to  ban “Like-Gating”

Which means you can’t reward people for liking your page, or use your plugin. No rewards, or basing visible content on whether you like the page or not.

Clause 4(5) of their Platform Policy looks like  this:

Only incentivize a person to log into your app, like your app’s Page, enter a promotion on your app’s Page, or check-in at a place. Don’t incentivize other actions. Effective November 5th, 2014, you may no longer incentivize people to like your app’s Page.

What does this mean?

No more “like-gating”.

What’s the problem with like-gating?

To quote Facebook again,

“To ensure quality connections and help businesses reach the people who matter to them, we want people to like Pages because they want to connect and hear from the business, not because of artificial incentives. We believe this update will benefit people and advertisers alike.”

Tow sides to the discussion, some see the practice as effective marketing, others see it as a false inflation of marketing numbers. Whatever you think, Facebook has now decided to stop its use so you will have to work harder than that to get liked!

What should you do? 

Update any apps that currently use like-gate. Make a friendlier landing page. Nov 5th is when it all changes.

Add call-to-action buttons on your Facebook Ads and page posts.

Reward those who use your apps

Facebook explicitly states that it “remains acceptable to incentivize people to login to your app, checkin at a place or enter a promotion on your app’s Page”. You just can’t provide an incentive for a like. Instead, focus on getting people into the app and use that as an opportunity to obtain likes through a softer-sell of the benefits of liking your Page (through an explanation or demonstration of value). Facebook provides the following image to provide some “guidance” in the Platform Policy as to what is acceptable and what is not in terms of incentives.

Focus on other things

You can still ask for something name and email address etc before giving full access (form-gating)

Create compelling content!    Content is still the key to real, sustainable engagement.

Buy Facebook ads.

Finally, the really boring part, if you haven’t already done so, it is important to review periodically Facebook policies, they change with regularity.

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