Facebook adjusts policy to eliminate ‘Like to Download’ strategies
Every electronic music fan has run into a fair share of artists – both upcoming and already established – that have utilized a “Like to Download” strategy that asks fans to trade a Facebook like for a free download of a song or remix. In essence, artists hope to lock in engagement with potential new fans, who will be connected to their pages and posts as their careers continue to grow.
Now, thanks to Facebook’s most recent policy development, the marketing behind like-gating will soon be a thing of the past. Facebook’s forthcoming policy update explains that Pages will no longer be permitted to use incentives to retain likes from fans. The platform continues to explain that this change will be implemented in order to maintain each Page’s credibility by eliminating “artificial incentives” and returning to the original relationship between business and genuine fan.
“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.”
For established musicians, this policy change likely won’t have as drastic of an effect, as Facebook has already pushed most to use paid Sponsored Posts to ensure announcements are seen by a majority of the Page’s fans. However, many music fans and newer artists are already groaning about yet another social media platform’s chop against the “rising artist,” and it raises the question of whether Facebook may soon be joining the likes of SoundCloud as the “yesterdays” of the Internet’s music sharing platforms over a re-focus on monetization. Facebook’s new policy change will go into effect on November 5th, 2014.