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Facebook banned 'Like Gates'

The IPM's Legal & Compliance team are alerting UK marketers to the fact that Facebook is to restrict marketers from using ‘Like Gates’ as a way for people to get incentives via their apps, in a move which it says is aimed at ensuring the quality of its user experience.  

The IPM's Legal & Compliance team says: “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.”   

According to a post on the Facebook developer blog, the change is being implemented because “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”.  

The restriction starts the 5th of November 2014.   

This could potentially be 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 by the IPM's Legal & Compliance team have involved the consumer liking the page before being allowed entry to a specific promotion.

The changes to Facebook’s rules are two-fold:   

Marketers will not be able to check (via their API) if a user already likes a page or not; They will not be able to use the ‘like’ button as a mechanism for consumers to gain entry to a promotion via an app.     

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.  

For further information about the changes, or about running promotions on social media, get in touch with our Legal & Compliance team – legal@theipm.org.uk / 020 7291 7730