Facebook is demolishing the like gate


When you like a Facebook page, Facebook wants to make sure you really like that page. The company announced recently that it will end the process known as the like gate, where users would have to like a page to enter a contest or receive more points in a game.

Facebook detailed this change in a developers blog post:

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.

Developers and page admins who use the like gate tactic must come into compliance by Nov. 5.

This is a common tactic used by Facebook contest marketers, as well as game developers. In games, when the character is out of points or lives, the player can continue playing if they agree to like a page. Many contests on Facebook involve having the user like a page to gain entry into the contest. The result is that the page receives a fan who is only there for the reward. Facebook wants to stop this.

Jim Belosic, CEO of Facebook contest developer ShortStack, talked with Inside Facebook about these changes:

We saw that a lot of people were getting a lot of likes using like gating, but then they realized that the likes didn’t really have any kind of real value toward their business goals. Especially because in order to get in front of their audience, they’d have to boost their posts or put some money behind it with Facebook ads. Instead of like-gating, we started to see people doing what we’re calling action-gating. “Hey, if you want to enter my contest or promotion, sign up for our newsletter or give us your email address or give us some feedback on this new product.” They would actually still get likes, but the likes weren’t forced. They were getting actionable and valuable feedback.

Readers: What do you think about this change?

Top image courtesy of Shutterstock and Facebook.