From November 5th, we will not be able to use Like Gates for Custom Tabs. Okay Facebook, what is that we can do then?

Sometimes it gets me angry looking at the way Facebook first gives us a bait, gets us interested in it, and just as we get addicted to it, it draws the offer back.

History of changes shows this pattern. It also shows some confusion that Facebook very often draws:

–        Facebook first withdrew the option of running contests via likes, comments and tags options, increasing the importance of custom tabs.

–        Then activated that back again, this time allowing use of timeline and wall functions to run contests and campaigns, decreasing the importance of custom tabs.

–        Facebook also allowed users to like and comment on the page content without liking the whole page.

–        Only recently, it also decreased the organic post reach thereby making us loosen our purses to generate engagement and reach.

–        And this time around, it took off the Like gated option, having further rendering the importance of custom tabs.

What are like gates?

They allow brands and businesses to incentivize users to like their Facebook page. It’s a custom tab that encourages users to like a brand page to either participate in a campaign or a contest that has prizes, or get a discount of any other form of gratification.

like gate ban

Why brands liked it?

Users were smart; they would participate in campaigns and contests without liking the page. [Users are allowed to comment, like updates, etc. even without liking the whole Facebook page]. This would mean, brands would spend time and money on running initiatives but wouldn’t be able to engage the users for long term. Like gate however made it impossible for users to participate in the contest without getting involved with the page as a whole.

Why Facebook changed it?

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.”

While I am in agreement with the above, it might disappoint brands, especially those who believe that likes surpass all other metrics. Facebook’s main reason to bring about this change is to encourage quality likes and purify the intent of liking a page.

What you can’t do now!

You cannot create a tab with a text that says “Like the page to download this ebook” or “Like the page to participate in the contest”. If you do so even after November 5th you will be in violation of Facebook Policies.

What you can do!

You can however run contests and ask users to fill in their details like name or email id to participate in the contest, as far as they are not obliged to like the page.

Note:

This removal of like gate is only for Facebook custom tabs and is not to be confused by removal of like compulsion to comment or do any other activity with the page.

What the Industry thinks about this change?

We are of the ardent belief that any social networking platform is an extension of communities and groups that we participate with in the real world. In taking the same theory forward, it would obviously be a violation of individual trust to coerce him or her to become part of a club, group or team in exchange for some real or perceived benefits.

Forcing users to “Like” your page in order to access information, participate in contests or just browse through material is a clear violation of this basic human construct. If anything, the logical flow should be in the reverse direction – you engage with a brand, connect with what it stands for and then hit the “Like” button.  The Facebook Likegate ruling is a step in course-correction along the same road.

As an agency, we have executed some campaigns such as Pick a Trick, a magic show on Nick (then Nickelodeon)* . When we ran the  Exclusive Episode Preview campaign on FB, we had also put a like gate on the app which required that people like the page in order to watch the video. We did the same for Meethi Choorii on Imagine TV.

Sometimes, in the race to hit the astronomical numbers and targets, we sometimes lose sight of the fact that behind every number is a person. With the new policies, we would not be able to set up these gateways and manipulate human behaviour to make a pretty spreadsheet.

As brand marketers and digital agencies, can we still ask people to like a contest or promotion as long as it’s not a like gate?

The answer is yes, as long as liking or sharing is not a requirement to enter.

From Facebook: It remains acceptable to incentivize people to login to your app, checkin at a place or enter a promotion on your app’s Page.

So we recently did an on-ground activation for the Tata Motors new vehicle launch – Zest Zestupyourlife campaign to supplement their on-ground efforts.

http://www.revotronlab.com/

This requires people to enter their email id first to win a prize and then encourage, but does not require, people to like, share, and tweet the campaign. This is legal and follows Facebook’s new guidelines.

You can encourage people to Like your brand’s Page, but it’s not a good practice to force it.

says Arjun Chatterjee, CEO – Runtime Solutions

Finally, content will be king. This is such a favorable move for so many brands and agencies that are out there creating genuine content, but lose out to the money muscle of incentivizing to like a page first then participate in anything! This will actually help brands build a more qualified database! It’s high time we got smarter and better with what we do than use an easy way out.

says Priya Jayaraman, Co-Founder & Business Director, Propaganda India

Since the popularity of facebook amongst advertisers, ‘LIKE’ is the most demanded action however there were many answers to “How to get Facebook Likes ?” Be it a pure incent based contest asking users to like their page to be eligible for the contest by brands, content curation websites asking users to like their post before they even see the content or gaming apps where the users are rewarded with extra coin/point for a ‘Like’ of its page; users have been quite accustomed to this mechanism. Much to users’ annoyance, they are tricked into liking the fan page of a particular app or blog, just to be accessible to a certain/specific piece they have been interested in and later being bombarded with useless and obsolete content. Enforcing the LikeGate Ban would empower the users to view and access the feeds of their interest, thus saving their time in undergoing the never-ending vertical scroll.

Logically, their is no harm in incentivising users since both are receiving something, more than anything this seems to be an extended trend after limiting the organic reach of posts by Facebook to boost Ad revenues by forcing advertisers promoting their page/post to get “Like” and get back to their drawing boards to re-look at their strategy for more organic users. 

says Prince Khanna, Founder & Business Head, Eleve Media

Like gate ban has it’s own pros and cons. A best way to judge this would be to gauge which outweighs the other. Plugins, apps were a tool to give the end users value and offer them right incentives closest to their likings. Many brands used it as a start of a long term relationship between the fan and the organisation. Few brands used this aptly but many took advantage of it resulting in many annoyed users.It served as one of the better way to reach your audience on the social networking platform. At the end of the day, this move has deservingly vested more power to the end user.

says Diksha Haria, Founder, Social Shehnai

 

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