A little while back Facebook made the subtle announcement that it would be banning the practice known as fan-gating apps for pages. For those of you who don’t know what fan-gating is it’s the practice where users a driven to Facebook page apps, either by paid or organic traffic and have to like the page in order to view the app content. This has been a huge element in driving likers for many pages as it was most commonly used for competition apps; the business would offer a prize through entry however would require a page like in the process. Relatively win-win one would think.The official line from Facebook is that they are making this change because they want people to connect with pages out of choice, not through artificial incentives. There are some sceptics (myself included) however who believe that this is a ploy to drive more businesses to advertising in order to build likers thus generating more revenue for Facebook.Others are saying that this will indeed result in pages gaining more relevant likers which will in turn have a greater impact than a bunch that like the page to win an iPad. I believe that there is an ideal middle ground in terms of fan-gating apps that provide real value, or competitions which have products aligned with the business page, however after November 5 we must move on.
In the past we have used fan-gating in competition apps as the key to still driving the relevant likers to the page is in the advertising. If you are driving targeted traffic to the app which was then fan-gated then you would get great results, and avoided any bad likers.Going forward competition app strategies will have to be modified slightly however while you may lose some likers all other details provided to enter the competition still remain (like email addresses/newsletter signups), which are vastly more valuable that a single like could ever be.Remember the idea of incentivising people to like your page has not been stopped, just the fan-gating. So providing great content, special offers and promotions are still just as important as ever to building your Facebook page and in turn your brand engagement.