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Facebook bans like gates on rewards

Monday August 18, 2014 at 4:36pm
Facebook is to restrict marketers from using ‘like gates’ as an incentive delivery method in a move that it says is aimed at ensuring the quality of its user experience. The restriction will apply from the beginning of November 2014 because, according to a blog post on the social media networking site, Facebook wants “to ensure quality connections and help businesses reach the people who matter to them.” The post goes on: “we want people to like pages because they want to connect and hear from the businesses, not because of artificial incentives. We believe this update will benefit people and advertisers alike” Ruth Hobbs, IPM Legal Advisory consultant and an expert on using Facebook for promotions, said: “Many brands are using ‘Like Gates’ as a mechanism to enter competitions or qualify for free samples or money-off coupons; but Facebook is concerned that this could devalue the ‘Like’ button as a way of measuring a page’s true worth.” Hobbs adds: “This is a big change for our industry since brands and agencies have often relied on this technique for driving rapid growth of Facebook audiences. The vast proportion of promotions using Facebook which we’ve seen and approved at the IPM Legal Advisory Service have involved the consumer liking the page before being allowed entry to a specific promotion.” The changes to Facebook’s rules are two-fold: o Marketers will not be able to check (via their API) if a user already likes a page or not; o They will not be able to use the ‘like’ button as a mechanism for consumers to gain entry to a promotion. Hobbs concludes: “The promotional marketing industry will need to adapt, as ever, to this latest rule change; but what is clear is that promoters will need to be creative to put together compelling promotions that consumers want to participate in.”
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