Facebook Says No More “Like-Gated” Promotions

Facebook recently revised its Platform Policy that will affect the way many promotions are run on Facebook. The new policy, which goes into effect on November 5, 2014, will prevent "like-gating" states which "Only incentivize a person to log into your app, like your app’s Page, enter a promotion on your app’s Page, or check-in at a place. Don’t incentivize other actions. Effective November 5, 2014, you may no longer incentivize people to like your app's Page."

In the past, advertisers and brands have often used this technique, known as “like-gating,” as a way to increase the amount of likes their Pages receive, meaning a brand would only allow a consumer the opportunity to enter for a chance to win a prize if the consumer first 'liked' the brand's Facebook page.

In implementing the change, Facebook provided the following policy rationale: "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." Facebook is probably aware of and influenced by recent FTC actions relating to testimonials and endorsements on social media. 

This Facebook change is just another reminder that brands need to be aware of the traditional legal rules governing promotional marketing, as well as the social media terms and policies.

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