Facebook Bans Like Gates on Fan Pages
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.
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.
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.
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?