Facebook's Like-Gate Is Closing
Facebook updated its Platform Policy this week to state that “Effective November 5th, 2014, you may no longer incentivize people to like your app's Page”. Thus ends, with a whimper, the once popular practice of 'Like-Gating' where users were required to Like a Page in order to receive some incentive. Marketing Land was one of the blogs noting that the practice had already fallen out of favor as Facebook marketers realized that large quantities of low engagement Fans might do more harm than good. Digiday placed the move as another part of Facebook's long term war on like-bait.
Most Facebook marketers seem happy to have the gate closing behind them, although Ignite Social Media bemoaned the loss of 'a fundamental marketing tool that has been used by brands for 100 years'.
Jon Loomer agreed that limited, properly targeted incentives might have been a good thing but that incentives that extended outside of a brand's core interest group were creating double standards that made targeting difficult. Socially Stacked forecasted an increase in ROI for companies who saw this as an opportunity to move on to 'Action-Gating', where incentives are used for something more valuable than a Like, perhaps an email address. Shoutlet offered three alternative strategies for marketers who believe that new gates are opening, just as an old, tired one is closing.