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Facebook Bans Like-Gating – They Want More Ads

A very popular method of garnering likes from the time they were considered “fans”, has been to provide incentives for people to give your page a like. These could come in many forms, such as assuring the soon-to-be like giver that you would return the favor or emailing them the personal twitter username to a “celebrity”. Most common, however, was to provide some sort of gift – post clicking the “like” button. This typically is in the form of some sort of information download, or perhaps a link to a key site or interestingly provocative image. Businesses working as they do – as the slogan of the old concrete company used to say, “find a need and fill it” – a number of wordpress plugins arrived in the form of a social locker. Looks like this:

facebook social locker

Well, Facebook, ever on the search for more revenue in the form of ads has become the first of the large social networks to ban the use of incentives to entice/force someone to like your page. This is a well known practice called like-gating, which Facebook defines as “when you force a Facebook user who has not already liked your Page to like your Page before they can see content on a particular custom tab.“. People use this for other social media platforms as well. Specifically, Facebook’s new policy states “You must not incentivize people to use social plugins or to like a Page.” You probably heard the collective cry from the plugin producers who suddenly saw their lucrative market for social lockers disappear – poof gone! (Some of these social lockers sold for over $50.) Interestingly it is still okay with Facebook to provide incentives to people to open applications or checking in at a Facebook place or to enter a promotion on your apps page.

On the surface, this appears reasonable. A Facebook spokesperson explained that the policy change was made to “ensure quality connections and help businesses reach the people who matter to them.” Of course, as mentioned above, this philosophy goes out the window as it pertains to apps or check-ins. Indeed, what this is really telling us is that Facebook sells ads to help your page get likes (not your check-ins). Incentivizing people, by giving them something of value in exchange for a “like”, clearly works, and is likely cheaper than advertising. Thus, Facebook disallows the practice as a way to eliminate internal (and often clever) methods of competition from advertising with them.

This is just a continuation of the ongoing evolution of Facebook as a public company. Wherever they can sell an advertising program they will, and make sure any competition for that particular advertisement goal, Facebook will eliminate it. Fortunately, you can simply buy FB likes from us and grow you number of likes safely and permanently.