Facebook Will Ban ‘Like To Download’ Apps

Starting in fall, Facebook will no longer allow users to implement the ‘like gating’ tactic on their pages. The company recently announced that the commonly-used method will come to an end on November 5, 2014.

“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. […] 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.”

Like gating is currently used by many businesses, gaming apps, and musicians as a way to offer content or rewards in exchange for Facebook likes. The company feels there’s no added value from the likes gained through the tactic and instead recommends ‘action gating’ as a replacement.
Jim Belosic, CEO of Facebook contest developer ShortStack, talked with Inside Facebook about the changes:

“We saw that a lot of people were getting a lot of likes using like gating, but then they realized that the likes didn’t really have any kind of real value toward their business goals. […] Instead of like-gating, we started to see people doing what we’re calling action-gating. ‘Hey, if you want to enter my contest or promotion, sign up for our newsletter or give us your email address or give us some feedback on this new product.’ They would actually still get likes, but the likes weren’t forced. They were getting actionable and valuable feedback.”

For years, DJs and producers have used “like to download” apps as a way to grow their fan base. With Facebook recently reaching 2.2 billion users, it’ll be interesting to see how the music industry adapts to the policy change.
Related: SoundCloud Reportedly Close to Deals with Major Labels