Is Facebook banning Like Gate?


Is Facebook banning Like Gate’s and the ability to force visitors to “Like” a page in order to get access to the tab app content?

Here’s what Facebook says:

You must not incentivize people to use social plugins or to like a Page. This includes offering rewards, or gating apps or app content based on whether or not a person has liked a Page. It remains acceptable to incentivize people to login to your app, checkin at a place or enter a promotion on your app’s Page. 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.


 Is Facebook Banning the Like Gate?

Yes, they essentially are.

I think based on their recent trends, it fits with their commitment to try and work at authentic Page/fan relationships.  Facebook doesn’t like spam, they also don’t like forced attempts to build fans.

I interpret this update to mean you can’t gate a app tab with a Like Gate and REQUIRE it (liking) as a forced means to access the content/contest.

So if you had a tab that said, “You must Like this page to access the free download”, then you will be in violation when this takes effect in November.

I think if you make it optional (“Like our Page to get this offer “and yet also offer a “Skip” option) you would be compliant.

UPDATE August 8, 2014 – MORE information is available and it is clear that the call to check for if a person has “Liked” a Page is being removed from the API so the “Skip” option is not possible.  A Like Gate will not be an option on tabs as of November 5, 2014.

The statement reads: “You must not incentivize people to use social plugins or to like a Page. This includes offering rewards, or gating apps or app content based on whether or not a person has liked a Page. It remains acceptable to incentivize people to… enter a promotion on your app’s Page.”

As noted, you cannot say “Like this” and then “get this ebook.” That would be out.

Facebook bans like gate

Alternative to Like Gate

Within TabSite we added a “Form Gate for the simple reason that it is more valuable to get a name and email address than to simply get a fan.

This update from Facebook makes that even more valid as a marketing move that helps a business capture a lead.

A Form Gate is a simple form (such as name and email address) that a user must submit before they can access the page.

Contests are Fine

So, for a contest where they “enter by submitting name and email” this is fine and complies. Contests on tab apps will need to be “form” contests and not dependent on “Liking” a Page.  Not all bad in my opinion.

That’s my initial take.  What are your thoughts?

About Mike Gingerich

Mike Gingerich, President of Digital Hill & TabSite is a business blogger Marketer and Consultant. Part geek, part marketer, part strategist, total fitness and running junkie. Mike is an author and speaker, having presented at Social Media Week Lima, Social Media Camp (Canada) and more. Mike is a marketing, social media, and business startup enthusiast with 10+ years experience building apps, consulting, and training businesses with winning integrated strategies. Mike loves deploying tactics to increase awareness, sales, and maximize ROI in both B2B and B2C markets via digital media.

16 thoughts on “Is Facebook banning Like Gate?

  1. The Form Gate is a great idea, Mike. You control it within the iframe itself so no need to rely on a Facebook funtion, (like) to make it work.

    Most blogs and websites that offer free newsletters, eBooks, etc. require their visitors to provide an email address to gain access and this is just doing the same thing on a Facebook tab page.

  2. ” It is also fine if you add a optional Like Gate before that entry form as long as you offer a way to access that entry form without needing to Like the page should the person want to.”

    I don’t think that’s going to work though because it sounds like Facebook is taking the fangate option away entirely. So no call will be sent to the app when someone likes the Page to trigger another page to load.

  3. Thanks for the update.

    Do you think this will effect the non-app rules around Likes? I run a monthly competition where to qualify for the prize you need to have liked our facebook page (that’s the only qualifier), and once you’ve done it once you then qualify every month, so it’s cumulative and doesn’t discriminate existing likers. Our competition website uses the Facebook API to make the calls and Like the page offsite and it’s not run within tabs/apps. Do you think these rule changes will affect us or should we start thinking about changing the qualifying mechanic? The form gate is an awesome tool but for my particular competition, we already have their details prior to entry so that’s not really an alternative in this instance.

  4. Hi Lynette! Since you are not using an app and are not on Facebook that is more unique. I’m not exactly sure what method in the FB API you are using and that will likely be the determining factor for you, whether that API call will continue to be an option to use. The API is changing and they have definitely stopped options within apps used for Page tabs.

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