Facebook updates: Like gating and Saving
Facebook is often rather low key about changes to the platform and policies – last week on their developers blog they announced that Like gating is no longer allowed, and for the first time I spotted the Save option appearing on pages and posts. I’m taking a look at how these two changes might affect compers.
This is where you have to LIKE before you can access an app on a Facebook page – it’s mainly used for competitions, contests, prize draws and sweepstakes. Here’s an example of a current Like gated prize draw on the Anglepoise Facebook page, using the Woobox app:
Like gates won’t be available on any new Facebook apps, and existing apps will have the functionality removed from 5th November 2014. Here’s what Facebook posted on their developers blog:
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.
Why this is great for compers
Removing the Like gating means Facebook users won’t have to Like a page to access a competition app any more – they can go ahead and enter without adding that page to their Likes or Newsfeed. Facebook has recently removed the 5000 page like limit (which used to be a huge pain) but with less irrelevant pages in your newsfeed, compers should see more of the stuff they actually want to see, rather than promotional posts from payday loan companies!
Why this is bad for promoters
This isn’t great news for promoters who use competitions and prize draws as a quick and easy way to boost Facebook fan count. It might be that companies now decide to add our email addresses to their mailing list instead of relying on us becoming fans, so make sure you watch out for check boxes before you enter! Likes won’t be as easy to come by, so promoters will have to work harder to gain fans by posting more relevant and engaging content. So we should see more Timeline comps involving commenting or creative tasks – for example posting photos – that encourage interaction and engagement with the brand’s Facebook page.
What about bonus entries using Rafflecopter and Gleam?
Rafflecopter and Gleam widgets are used on many blogs and websites and can feature multiple options including Facebook Likes. Entrants click Like in the widget and, without even visiting Facebook, they become a fan of the page. This is what Facebook are trying to discourage – people liking a page without caring whether the content is of interest to them, they just want an extra entry in the prize draw! What’s interesting is that as yet Rafflecopter haven’t mentioned this update, apart from a tweet claiming it doesn’t affect what they do (Note: Rafflecopter posted this update on their blog just a few minutes after I published this post…) Gleam on the other hand, have explained on their blog that the Facebook Like function will be removed as an option from 5th November. It will be interesting to see if Facebook provide any more guidance before November as this could have an effect on how blog giveaways are structured!
If you want to read more about the Like gate news, Jon Loomer has written an excellent post about how the change will affect marketers.
The SAVE option
I spotted the new Save feature on the Foodism UK page last week – on the cover photo, I clicked the ‘…’ drop down menu, and there it was. Users can save links, places and pages and the feature is currently rolling out to everyone.
Save is more obvious on a mobile device, as one of the top options on the page:
On your news feed you can Save any post with a link preview by clicking the top right arrow and choosing Save. Unfortunately, it won’t work for text posts or photos, which is a real shame – perhaps this might be something Facebook might introduce in future?
On the web you can view your Saved items at www.facebook.com/saved – or click on Saved on your Home Page left hand menu. On your mobile, look for the More menu (bottom right) and scroll down to Saved. Your saved items are grouped by category and you can swipe on each item to share it with friends or archive it.
Here are a couple of screenshots from Facebook showing how the Save function works – read more about it here.
The Save feature should be handy for compers with smartphones who want to bookmark competitions and pages to check out later – a bit like Twitter’s Favorite function. I’ll definitely be using it instead of taking screenshots and emailing links to myself!
Have you got the Save option on Facebook yet – and are you using it? Let me know!