If you haven’t already heard then you need to prick up your ears for the Latest Facebook “Like Gate Scandal” – It’s like Watergate but for some marketers much much worse. Facebook Turns Off Like Gates!
What is a LIKE GATE?
You know those page which tell you to like a page before you can access the goodies (competition, free download, watch the video etc.). This is called a LIKE GATE or a FAN GATE.
This is often 3rd party Technology such as Heyo which allows you to create two alternative Facebook fan pages. An UNLIKED version and a LIKED version.
People who LIKE the page get access to the FREE STUFF!
So why are they stopping them?
Facebooks announcement goes as follows:-
“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.”
In short Facebook thinks, or claims to think that fan gates water down the genuine likes of a page and make it harder for fans to get relevant content.
I personally think it’s a bit late in the day for that, with most major brands already establishing their fans and Likes through competitions and incentives.
It’s just means people who are just setting out to build LIKES are going to have an uphill struggle against those who already have them.
So what are you allowed to do?
The terms of service seem to state that you can incentivise people to like your page… (Which of course is obvious, imagine if displaying a “Like us on Facebook” sign in your office was contravening some Terms of Service!
However what you can’t do is FORCE them to LIKE the page in order to access benefits, freebies or whatever.
What you will probably have to do as an alternative is make registering an email as a means of getting the Freemium Content, and then ask them to LIKE, SHARE, and Comment.
When will this happen?
Well it sort of already did, as of 4 days ago Facebook put a blocker on creating new LIKE GATES, and as of the 5th of November existing LIKE GATES will no longer work.
So it’s time to rethink your LIKE getting strategy and ask yourself if getting LIKES as valuable as it once was!
The Value of a LIKE
A few years ago companies would go crazy for LIKES, most of them didn’t know why but they get incredibly excited when some LIKES came in and they had a growing fan base.
At that time there wasn’t as many things to like and many of the comments you posted on your fan page really got through to the audience of Fans.
Things are very different now, with potentially thousands or posts per day coming in from your friends, family, and pages you are fans of this is getting massively watered down.
One thing is for sure, your comments are going to have to get more engaging, more relevant, and you are going to have to learn to target adverts effectively if you are going to get the traffic and following that you need.
What are your thoughts?
Do you think this is good, bad, or it doesn’t make a slight bit of difference for the industry?
I personally think that LIKE GATES incentives with real and relevant content and Freemium’s was a brilliant way of getting those 1 click opt ins and had some great results with that. I’d even go for the email address as a step 2 of the process, and it worked brilliantly.
However the “Win a FREE Ipad” brigade have probably filled the fanbase up with lukewarm prospects that just act as another number and social proof.
What’s your take on all this? Dhare your view in the comments section below!