Well, well, another policy change! Facebook recently posted a small update on their developer blog, which also includes a couple of rather curious changes to platform policy.
The social network has effectively put a ban on like-gating content.
Which is basically saying that you can no longer require people to like your page to get something in return. Online marketers, and even page owners, have placed gates on their Facebook apps and ask people to like their page before receiving access or free content — like an ebook, for example.
The blog post provides the reason behind this important 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, check in 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.”
Essentially, the company is forcing page owners to grow their pages organically — or in other words, pay to do so. This technique is also popular among contest apps on Facebook that require people to like a particular page, as part of entering the contest.
This, too, is no longer allowed from now on.
In any case, this should take care of artificial inflation of the number of likes on Facebook pages. Luckily, the company is allowing you until November 5, 2014 to remove these. Ample time.
What do you think about this change? Good move, or bad?