From 5 November Facebook pages will no longer be able to use fan-gates or like-gates as a way to gain more likes.
If you use apps like ShortStack, Heyo, TabSite for your page, chances are good that you are using a fan-Gating feature, which works by showing different content to fans and non-fans.
A popular example of a fan-gate is a competition. If the user is a fan they will be prompted with “click to enter!” where a non-fan will be met with the message to “like first to enter!” When you visit a brand’s custom app, Facebook will check and see whether you are a fan or not and present the view accordingly.
Why is Facebook removing the fan-gate?
The reason that Facebook has given as to why the fan-gate functionality is being removed is answered in this statement: “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.”
“In other words, Facebook wants users to like brand pages because they actually ‘like’ them and want to see their content, not because they were promised a gift through a contest! Facebook says that user experience will be improved as users will see the content they actually want to see. This also allows advertisers to target their audience’s interest more effectively.”
How Facebook values ‘likes’
Here at Apexhub, we have often used fan-gates for our social media clients. We have used them in a variety of ways, mainly to show our clients’ latest offers and to give away free e-books.
We think this works effectively for the above instances, but there are people who only like pages to get freebies and have no interest in the page’s content – in such cases the ‘likes’ are of no use from an engagement perspective. Facebook tells us that the average user would see 1,500 stories in a day in their newsfeed. Facebook’s algorithms bring that number down to 300. In order for Facebook to be a desirable place, the best and most relevant content needs to be surfaced.
Facebook uses a range of signals to determine what users see, but fan-gating confuses these signals. Does a user really want to see content from that brand? It’s not always clear.
The main aim is to preserve the value of a page ‘like’ so that users have a good experience and gain value from selecting the content that they want to see. The more people have good user experiences, the better value for advertisers. Some might say that by now, there are easily over 1 Billion Facebook users who have already liked dozens, if not hundreds of pages.
So it comes down to this, why should someone like your page? The incentive may be as simple as providing the most thorough, helpful or entertaining information in your niche.
If you need help with your social media strategy or implementation, contact Apexhub today by emailing us at [email protected] or call us on 0151 709 9307.