“Why do they mess with our customers again? Will this hurt our business?” – these were my first thoughts when hearing the news. Now I think it doesn’t matter a lot.

Have you heard the news?

In 3 months time Facebook will shut down the like-gate (or fan-gate or reveal-tab, as you like) for Facebook Pages.

No more comfortable way of growing your fans with a bribe, like a downloadable ebook, a sweepstakes or a contest.

So it means that you can
So it means that you can’t run pages like this.


The condition to enter can’t be a “Like” to a Page

According to the new rule, the condition of seeing an app’s content can’t be a “Like” to a Page.

Here is what they say:

“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, check-in at a place or enter a promotion on your app’s Page.”

Facebook wants Pages to collect more genuine fans, and not those who became fans for a random sweepstakes prize. In a recent post (that I can’t find ever since) they say that people Like too many Pages making ads less effective.

Understandable. Especially because at the end of the day, incentivized fan-collection is a competition to Facebook ads.

So they decided to cut it.

This is how they explain:

“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.”

What will happen?

Clearly, cutting the Facebook Like-gate is not great news for smaller businesses that do social media without advertising, and hope their posts reach 2-3% of their fans. Here is what we predict:

  • Better quality of social media posts. Social media managers need to craft engaging posts to seduce people to “Like” their Page.
  • Advertising. It seems that it’s the best way to reach your fans, and your audience who is no follower yet. Facebook allows conversion pixels in ads, so you can set new fans to be the target. There are ads appearing in the news feed if you deliberately want to encourage people to “Like” your Page.
  • Change in mindset. Are Facebook likes that important? You can reach the fraction of your fans anyway, and you need to run ads in order to reach them. Now it hasn’t changed much.

Building your house on rented land

Antavo, the company I am co-founder of helps marketers to run sweepstakes and contests on Facebook, mobile and web. I still can’t say that we are happy for the changes, as the Like-gate is an important element of our low-end pricing.

But I understand that these changes started a lot earlier, and we are prepared to react in time. We are slightly moving away from Facebook, and this is what we recommend for our customers too.

Don’t build your house on a rented land.

As they say.

Contrary, email marketing remains stable, and bringing more people to the marketing funnel you really own. And this is the real reason you should have downloadable ebooks, contests and sweepstakes.

Removing the Facebook Like-gate clearly proved that we are on the right track with our company’s strategy. We are building the best lead generation and qualification solution that serves our clients’ interest.

Asking is okay

You can still ask people to like your Page through the app, like “Please like us to receive updates!”

And Facebook’s new rule will take effect only in 90 days. So when you are using a tool like Antavo, where you can customize apps that are almost ready, then you are still able to run a Like-gated app for 90 days.

This is a possible way of encouraging fans to “like” your page. You can briefly remind, but you can’t oblige them.
This is a possible way of encouraging fans to “like” your page. You can briefly remind, but you can’t oblige them.


What do you think?

Are you happy / unhappy about the changes? Or just don’t care? Also: do you think there is a workaround?