The 4 Changes To Facebooks Platform Policy & How This Affects Your Business

Does “Like us to win [insert awesome prize here]” sound familiar to you? I’m sure you’ve seen this phrase a hundred times in various giveaways ran by big and small businesses alike to gain new Facebook fans. But all this craze to win a brand new iPad or one night stay at a fancy hotel will soon come to end. No more “like” gating.

Last August 8, Facebook announced on their blog very important changes to their platform policy. On their post, they said:

Games which include mandatory or optional in-app charges must now disclose this in their app’s description, either on Facebook or other platforms it supports. This is to give people a clear indication that your game may charge people during gameplay.

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, check in 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.

In simpler terms, here is what Facebook is saying:

1. If you have a game or app and you plan to advertise on Facebook to get more installs, you must clearly state in your app description that though the download and installation of the app is FREE, there are mandatory / optional in-app charges involved.

All these apps now have to update / change their description.

2. Liking a Facebook page must not be used as a mechanic to qualify in any contest / giveaway.

A third party app that allows users to ask participants to “Like” a Facebook page.

3. You cannot give rewards (gift certificates, coupons, in-app game perks) as an exchange to users liking your page.

In-game incentive when you ask your friends on Facebook to download the game. (Credits: Popcap)

4. You cannot use gating apps that disallow users who have not ‘liked’ your page to see your content. Now if you have not seen what a gating app is, here is what it looks like (see photo below). This serves as a “gate” which Facebook users who have not liked the page will see.

Gating app sample.
Gating app sample.

Why is Facebook doing this?

Facebook explained that they did such a nerve-wrecking update because they want advertisers to reach those who are genuinely interested in their business, and want users to only get updates from the pages they truly support. Facebook added that this update is beneficial to both parties.

What is Milk’s stand on this?

Here at Milk, we have always believed that quality matters more than quantity. The number of likes does not co-relate to the success of your business. It’s the engagement that is important. It’s the genuine liking of a certain person to your products that make them valuable, not the click of a button.

Whilst these changes might seem annoying to some, especially those who have spent much time, money, and effort into building an application or business that found the now prohibited tricks useful; we believe in the long-term quality of fans that these changes bring – fans who genuinely want to be connected with you, which, therefore, results to higher returns from your Facebook Marketing

How about you? What is your stand regarding these changes? Do you think these changes to Facebook’s platform policy are beneficial to all? Share your thoughts below and don’t forget to share this to a friend who needs to know about this update.

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