It was only a matter of time but here it is, the headline that will change how competitions are run on the social platform: Facebook bans incentivising likes.
On the 7th of August Facebook not only announced a new version of their API, Graph API v2.1 as well as updated iOS and Android SDKs. Facebook also announced that apps are no longer allowed to incentivise their users to use a social plugin or like a page. In their words, “You must not incentivise 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.” This would take full effect on November 5th, 2014, where apps will no longer be able to perform these actions.
Facebook has said developers have time until then to change this, but for apps created since this announcement, it is strongly recommended to make the amends to your app as soon as possible. For the developers reading this, Simon Cross, Product Manager at Facebook stated that “Apps created from today onwards won’t get the ‘liked’ boolean in the signed_request object on pages, and in 90 days’ time, for existing apps, this value will always be set to true.”
So, you may be wondering what all this means.
With a few of Facebook’s policies in the past, there have been slight grey areas where developers are left wondering whether their app breaks any policy or not. With this particular policy change, there’s an important thing to note. That is that like gates on apps are no longer. There are several perspectives on which to look at this. One might be a question of whether it is that relevant to incentivise people to like your page, if they aren’t actually interested in your brand. There are several reasons for this. Although that topic may go beyond the scope of this article, a simple like can still be useful for remarketing, getting noticed by the user’s friends, and a simple total likes number increase which can increase a person’s positive perception of a page – not to mention meeting the boss’ obsession with this metric. Either way, it may be useful to know now that users that like your page from visiting an app, will have done so because they have actually liked it, and not for a separate interest.
You may be asking yourself now what to do to get users to go the extra mile and click/tap on the like button just once. Here are some thoughts:
On the app you are probably expecting the user to perform a set of actions or read parts of the app in order. You can place a like button in a place where you think the user might find it quick and easy if it’s already there as a step. The user may then notice it more if it is for example, next to an input field or a button.
Possibly better than including it next to other actions during the app, if your app has a results page for example, then you can include it here. At this stage, if your app is meant to give a good user experience, then the user might be more inclined to click on the like button. Of course you might say there is already a like button above the Facebook iframe (if your app is meant to be there) but if you place it where you know the user is going to be looking at, it might just be that much more likely he/she will click/tap the app/page.
You can try a humorous approach. There will probably be many things to consider depending on what your page is about but if you can have a sentence that stands out suggesting a user to like the page it might have a positive effect.
These are just some thoughts. Whichever route you go for make sure your app does not get shut down for breaking policies but try to optimise how the app’s users may like your page within the rules. Enjoy.
Over to you
What do you think? How will this change your Facebook strategy?