like gate banned 600x260 Facebook Like Gate: Time to Move on!

Is Facebook banning Like Gate’s and the ability to force visitors to “Like” a page in order to get access to the tab app content?

Yes, it appears the Facebook Like Gate is in it’s last days. Facebook announces the end of the Like Gate in recent Developer announcement on their blog.

Here’s what Facebook says:

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.

Facebook Like Gate: Yes, It’s Time to Move on

Is Facebook Banning the Like Gate?

Yes, they essentially are.

I think based on their recent trends, it fits with their commitment to try and work at authentic Page/fan relationships. Facebook doesn’t like spam, they also don’t like forced attempts to build fans.

So if you had a tab that said, “You must Like this page to access the free download”, then you will no longer be able to do this when the policy takes effect in early November for all apps.

In fact, any new apps created now in the developer area do not have ability to use the Facebook API call that checked for a “Page Like” and therefore showed the gate or the content. Existing apps still created before the August 7 update still have that ability but it does end in November.

Facebook’s statement again reads:

“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… enter a promotion on your app’s Page.”

As noted, you cannot say “Like this” and then “get this ebook,” or require a “like” as shown below to be able to enter a contest. Those options are all out.

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Alternative to Like Gate

Within TabSite we added a “Form Gate“ for the simple reason that it is more valuable to get a name and email address than to simply get a fan.

This update from Facebook makes that even more valid as a marketing move that helps a business capture a lead.

A Form Gate is a simple form (such as name and email address) that a user must submit before they can access the page.

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Contests are Fine

So, for a contest where they “enter by submitting name and email” this is fine and complies. Contests on tab apps will need to be “form” contests and not dependent on “Liking” a Page. Not all bad in my opinion.

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This shift from Facebook is a logical next step for Facebook as they seek to try and keep the fan/page relationship as authentic as possible.

For marketers, it’s a reminder to think “holistically” with their online marketing.

Do not just think about “Facebook Marketing” but rather how your entire online marketing fits together. This means connecting quality content on your blog and campaigns that capture leads, and then nurturing those leads with email marketing and social media engagement over time to develop a true customer community. Relevant incentives that are connected to your product and service that are accessed after completing a form can be a great first step alternative to those who need to move beyond the Like Gate!

That’s my initial take. What are your thoughts?

Read more: The Facebook Like-gate Is Dead