Likegating has long been a popular way of increasing followers by requiring users to like a page before accessing a Facebook competition, app, or tab. Facebook has decided to stop this practice once and for all, so from November 5th likegating will be prohibited on all Facebook apps.

Facebook’s official Platform Policy has already changed, and any new apps that are built will not have the ability to use likegates. Existing apps have been given a 90-day grace period (until November 5th) before their likegates are removed.

Harshdeep Singh, a Software Engineer at Facebook elaborated on the policy change:

“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.”

So what do our Facebook app developers think about all of this?
We welcome the change. For years we’ve advised clients that likes should not be the main measure of success on Facebook, and that engagement and building relationships is what truly matters. Likegates were great for instantly building up fan numbers, but if those users never interacted with your Page again then that figure was meaningless. Not only that, but Facebook’s newsfeed algorithm is affected by how many of your users engage with your content, so while likegates got you fans, if only a small percentage of them were actually engaging with you then your posts were probably shown to fewer people because of this.

Goodbye likegate, hello actiongate
Brands invest quite a bit into Facebook apps so it’s understandable that they want to see a benefit from them. Although likegates are gone, brands can still ask people to perform another action in order to view exclusive content, for example providing an email address, signing up to a newsletter, or taking a quick survey. Also, brands can still encourage people to like their page, which we recommend you do with every app. By taking this approach, you’ll end up with great data to use in future marketing efforts as well as genuine likes from people who really do want to stay connected to your brand. It’s a win-win situation!

While likegates have played their part in many a Facebook campaign, we’re excited to see how actiongates help marketers in the future and how the return on genuine likes improves social media strategies.

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