Say ‘goodbye’ to fan-gates. Facebook doesn’t “Like” them.

Last week Facebook announced a new version of their API, along with the news that apps can no longer incentivise users to like a page or use social plug-ins.

Last week Facebook announced a new version of their API, along with the news that apps can no longer incentivise users to like a page or use social plug-ins.

Their reasoning:

“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.” – Facebook, August 8th 2014

Taking effect in November, developers have a few months to change app settings, though Facebook recommends that amends be made as soon as possible.

But what does this mean for brand pages?

Basically, Facebook does not want any incentives to ‘like’ a page. If you are running a competition or a special offer on an app it will now be open to all Facebook users, rather than being able to ‘gate’ it which forces users to like the page.

Similarly, users can no longer be required to share a Facebook competition in order to enter. You can still provide additional share and like options within an app, but without the content-unlocking incentives.

This shouldn’t be considered bad news for brands – this move will help ensure that users who like your page are genuinely interested in your business. You should never obsess over Facebook Likes, instead focus on building a loyal audience of genuine followers that truly engage with the interesting content on your page. At the end of the day “compers” come and go, but great content lasts forever.

If you’re worried about how the new Facebook changes might affect your page, or would like to learn more about how to make your social strategy more effective – get in touch!