In a post on their Developer’s Blog this week, Facebook announced that (among other things) they are outlawing the ‘like gate’. The like gate is the method by which some developers require users to like their page before entering their competitions or using apps hosted on Facebook.
‘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.’
Many of the comments on the original blog post are really quite negative – with one user even stating that the latest updates are ‘Another proverbial nail in the coffin for small businesses trying to gain traction on an increasingly difficult Facebook marketing platform.’ We completely disagree.
Likes attracted through competitions, unless highly targeted, are often some of the least engaged fans on a Facebook page. Indeed, it’s a well-known problem that after a particularly generous competition has finished, many people who had recently liked the page then unlike it. We think this is to be expected: if someone only likes your page because you’re giving away something cool, then they’re not liking the page because they like your brand, or your products, or want to get involved with the discussions happening on your page. They aren’t part of your relevant audience. So after the contest is over, why would they stick around? More importantly, if they’re only professional ‘compers’, then why would you want them to?
We agree with Facebook – it’s better for both Facebook users and advertisers that they’re getting rid of the ‘like gate’ function.