We’re starting to think Facebook is like the weather. If you don’t like it now, just wait a few minutes and it will change! This time, they’re changing their policy around something called “like gating”. Here’s what’s happening and why it will change the way you (and we) conduct contests and giveaways moving forward.

If you’re not familiar with like gating, it’s using a third party app (like Woobox or Offerpop, for example) to generate additional page likes in order to facilitate a contest. In other words, it is mandatory for someone to like your page before entering to win something. The goal of this is to obviously increase page likes while providing some sort of incentive to the target audience.

The update on Facebook’s Platform Policy says that the social network will no longer allow pages to require a user to like a page to gain access to content, contests, apps or rewards. No new apps will be able to utilize a like gate, and the new policy will go into effect on November 5th.

Here’s the official update from Facebook:

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.

Source: https://developers.facebook.com/blog/post/2014/08/07/Graph-API-v2.1/

While like gating apps were a helpful way to make sure page likes increase, there are plenty of other (and perhaps better!) ways to reach and engage with your target audience on Facebook. For a few examples, check out my other article here: Q: Can I use Facebook ads on a shoestring budget?

Never a dull moment!

Author Marissa Hann

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