Facebook is notorious for constantly updating their policies, interface and pretty much everything. They are also known for listening to the cries, complaints and overall anger resulting from any of these changes…and ignoring them.
Side-bar: Any time Facebook runs an update, people get on Facebook just to complain about Facebook’s new update. Never makes sense to me.
Back to the subject at hand: Facebook has recently updated its policy on “like gating”. In case you aren’t familiar with the term, this revolves around companies and organizations posting social advertisements stating, “Like us to receive to this coupon” or something to that effect.
Facebook allowed like gating and, until this update, had no qualms with page owners incentivizing followers with this tactic. The policy update is to Facebook’s Platform Policy and will take effect Nov. 5. Any existing like gating will be disabled.
Why the update? Facebook’s altruistic reason is it wants pages and content to grow organically and not under any false pretense.
There is logic to this. Like gating is a dated practice and something companies, organizations and associations have used to get as many followers as possible.
However, even though it is a dated practice, this policy update puts businesses who are still practicing like gating a bit behind the eight ball in today’s social media landscape. Also, Facebook wants page owners to consider this as a “list cleaning” practice, just like you would with email campaigns. The removal of like gating ensures your followers are truly interested in you and your content. This allows for greater engagement and a better ability to determine who makes up your potential customer base.
Now, snap back to reality (oh there goes gravity…sorry, heard Eminem this morning).
One of the real reasons to remove like gating is it competes with Facebook’s advertising strategy. Like gating offered page owners quick growth, regardless of how “organic” it was. To ensure like gating never comes back into style and cuts into their advertisement strategy, Facebook has just decided to cut it out.
However, even though like gating is being removed as growth tactic, this is still an overall good course of action, in my opinion. This action entices (to some page owners this reads ‘forces’) page owners to learn how to generate original content and organic engagement with their audience.
So, I would have to say, I agree with Facebook’s altruistic logic on why they have removed like gating. The business side of me also completely agrees with their decision to make sure like gating never comes into play again.
Regardless, if you haven’t been generating original content and having organic engagements, now is the perfect time to start practicing. Offering content and engagement to your followers creates a better experience for them and creates a higher ROI of your social strategy.
So, no need to log in and start complaining about this policy update. Log in and start engaging!