As a user, I was extremely pleased to read about the new Facebook Platform Policy (7 Aug, fully effective on 5 Nov 2014) stopping Pages apps requiring you to like a Page in order to enter competitions etc. Like-gating, as it’s known, is now prohibited by policy.
What is it?
It’s when competitions and promotions require you enter by following their request of liking their Page.
However, there are many Pages not following the rules that already apply to promotions and offers. This could be due to lack of knowledge and understanding, blatantly ignoring them or attempting to get hundreds of likes. The latter doesn’t particularly help your marketing because if the person doesn’t really ‘like’ your Page, they with either unlike it or remain dormant, limiting the reach of your posts. Remember it’s about quality not quantity. You want an engaged audience, not huge figures of uninterested people on your Page. After 5 November even if an existing app requests a Page like, it will be disabled by Facebook (in effect) and not count whether the entrant has or hasn’t liked the Page! For a new app, we believe this is in effect already (from 7 Aug 2014) and some have 90 days to comply.
There have always been strict rules around competitions on Facebook. To summaries these:
- you must show all the terms, rules and eligibility to enter etc
- must include an acknowledgement that it is not associated with Facebook
- not request use of personal timelines (e.g. ‘Share on your Timeline to enter’ is not allowed)
See the rules in full in the Facebook Pages Terms.
Hands up if you are surprised by these rules? There are plenty who don’t abide by them!
Another interesting rule that you may not have heard of is that third-party advertisements on Pages are prohibited, without Facebook’s prior permission.
The new rules that sparked this post applies to apps. ‘You must not incentivise 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 incentivise people to login to your app, checkin at a place or enter a promotion on your app’s Page.’ Read this and about the changes to Games apps here under Changes to Platform Policy .
So, in theory, we should see a lot less of the ‘Like our Page to enter’ competitions in our personal timelines.
As a Page owner if you have created a campaign or social strategy based on incentivising page likes through apps you may find have work to do! But, in the long run, you will find other actions, probably more effective ones, to ask your audience to do, to replace that one.
The controversy over this is move by Facebook is really interesting. See the comments under the Facebook Blog, and Socially Staked.
When you consider how many Pages each individual has liked, narrowing down who sees what has got to mean users only really do click to like, in the future, those pages that you are really interested in, not just because they want to enter a competition.
We think this is a good move. What do you think?