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Social Media Marketing for Business

Nathan

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August 8, 2014

Facebook Bans Like Gates on Fan Pages

August 8, 2014 | By | 7 Comments">7 Comments

Yesterday, Facebook announced that they are banning like gates on fan pages starting on November 5th, 2014.

These are the changes to platform policy as articulated by Hashdeep Singh, a Software Developer at Facebook:

You must not incentivize people to use social plugins or to like a Page. This includes offering rewards, or gating apps or app content based on whether or not a person has liked a Page. It remains acceptable to incentivize people to login to your app, checkin at a place or enter a promotion on your app’s Page. 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.

Does this mean Like Gating is dead?

To better understand the changes, we got clarification from Simon Cross, a Product Manager at Facebook:

Yes – like-gating is now prohibited by policy. Apps created from today onwards won’t get the ‘liked’ boolean in the signed_request object on pages, and in 90 days time, for existing apps, this value will always be set to true.

There is nothing subjective about this. Your app’s like-gates will stop working on November 5th, 2014 (90 days from now) because Facebook is removing the code that enables the like gate to work. This is different from past statements from Facebook, like the 20% text in an ad rule where some ads get rejected and some slip through.

I’m confused, what exactly is Facebook banning?

Lets look at King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut as an example.

When King Tut’s ran their campaign, they also put a like gate on the promotion which required that people like the page in order to reveal the promotion. This is in violation of Facebook’s new rules and this functionality will not work starting November 5th, 2014 for like-gates that are already installed. Starting today, you won’t be able to launch a new like-gate.

Like Gate Ban 

Can I still ask people to like a contest or promotion as long as it’s not a like gate?

The answer is yes, as long as liking or sharing is not a requirement to enter.

From Facebook:

It remains acceptable to incentivize people to login to your app, checkin at a place or enter a promotion on your app’s Page.

Lets again look at King Tut’s campaign.

King Tut’s used the Heyo Sweepstakes template which requires people to enter their email to win a prize and then encourages, but does not require, people to like, share, and tweet the campaign. This is legal and follows Facebook’s new guidelines.

Facebook Contest Promotion

The reason the social sharing is important in the campaign is because it allowed King Tut’s to avoid having to pay to promote the app in order to get traffic.

Rather, people entered the promotion with their email and then chose to click share and tweet which generated over 353 tweets and shares with links back to the campaign. This resulted in 4,640 free views to the campaign (all with no ads) and 2,668 email opt ins (57.5% conversion).

Will Facebook continue making it harder for small businesses to have success on the platform?

I will watch Facebook very carefully over the coming quarters to see if they further restrict Fan Pages ability to have organic success in an effort to boost advertising revenues.

Facebook beat Wall Street estimates in their recent earnings call, so I don’t see this squeeze coming in the next 3-5 months.

Your turn: Tell me in the comments, have you used a like gate before?

 

 

 

Nathan

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Nathan Latka has supported the growth of over 100,000 small businesses using social media and data driven campaigns — all without a college degree.

  • Janet E Johnson

    Yes, I do use like-gates any time I have the opportunity (especially with contests similar to the above). It is a bummer, but not the first time Facebook has made this kind of change. I don’t believe it is the end of the world. We just have to get more creative. 🙂

  • Lynette Martin

    Facebook
    says “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.” Really?
    “. . . we want people to like Pages because they want to connect and hear
    from the business. . .” Then please tell me why Facebook uses algorithm’s
    to make their, Facebook’s, judgment to

    determine what my “LIKES” want to see or not see from my posts.

    I’m a small business owner and, through a lot of hard work, have 300+ likes. FB
    is now making the “judgment call” that 2/3 of my likes really don’t
    want to see my posts. Very frustrating! Just did my 1st Heyo contest and, shame
    on me, used a like-gate to get more likes in hopes that the FB algorithm’s
    wouldn’t knock as many of those off from seeing my posts. And BTW, wouldn’t any
    of my “likes” be able to “unlike” my page if they didn’t
    want to hear from my business? It would then be their call not FB’s.

    • Mike Macey

      Yes, anyone can unlike a Page. Facebook only shows an average of 6% of your post up to 15-20% based on fan engagement. Facebook holds the rest of your poss hostage with their Edgerank post-chipper. Likes are important; however, having fans Share your content is golden. They become advocates, give you social proof, and increases your Edgerank.

  • http://upliftingfamilies.com/ Christy Garrett

    Will this affect rafflecopter or giveaway tools giveaway contests? If so, do you know what the restrictions will be like?

    • Mike Macey

      This change applies to ALL fan gating Christy

  • Catherine Aird

    Hi, if I am running a multi brand contest from a blog or a website page and I ask for people to enter with their name and email address, would it then still be “legal” to ask people to like our page or a partners page to collect bonus entries? Rafflecopter comes to mind as a third party. To answer you question, yes I have used fan gating in the past and collected thousands of new fans!
    Thank you!

  • Esther Wilson

    I was wondering this also. If you run the giveaway on your own personal blog can you have facebook page likes on there if you don’t share it on facebook?