So last week Facebook announced some clear policy changes that were provided to API developers and particularly these are about crushing Like Gates and removing “incentivized liking” of fanpages. What this means to bloggers and sweepstakes folks is that you no longer can require someone to like a fanpage to enter a sweepstakes, and you can no longer grant them entries in a giveaway or sweepstakes in exchange for a like of a fanpage. Facebook claims to be doing this to make sure people like pages because they would normally want to follow that pages, not just because they are following an incentive and while there is some truth to this, this does directly mean that businesses will likely have to spend more on Facebook ad credits to promote their page to increase likes to offset the potential loss of likes through giveaways.
For us here at DragonBlogger, where we partner with brands to giveaway awesome gadgets in exchange for our brands getting some more recognition and fans this requires us to make some changes after the November 5th deadline, but rest assured we have already found ways to continue to offer our brands value and increased audience even with these new Facebook policies.
First, I queried several of the biggest sweepstakes platforms and received responses from most of them. I want to say all of the sweepstakes platforms are SUPER responsive and every single one responded within an hour or less of me sending my inquiry for information.
Woobox Response to Facebook Policy Changes
Woobox didn’t have a published response in their blog, but we reached out to them directly about this and this was their response.
Facebook’s new policy prohibits requiring or incentivizing for Liking a page. By November 5th, all required liking will be removed and converted to requested like to comply with Facebook policy and the technical changes Facebook is implementing to prevent fangating. Requested like will still show the like button but if the user does not click it they will still be able to enter a promotion. We have seen customers have great success with requesting likes instead of requiring them since we implemented that option on Woobox a while back. Please stay tuned to our Facebook page and Blog as we will make several announcements over the next 90 days with regard to replacement functionality.
Thank you for your interest in Woobox!
Basically Woobox is also removing Like Gate and by November 5th, likes will still be offered, but won’t grant any entry and will just be a requested component, you can enter a giveaway without liking, they can’t validate a like as an entry. So my guess is people most familiar with Woobox will still just continue to like in good faith since it will be on the same page they enter their email and name. This I think is the best and least intrusive option I think to consumers who run giveaways.
PromoSimple Response to Policy Changes
PromoSimple wrote in a blog post shortly after the statements that said effectively immediately Like Gating will be removed, and they were still working on how to handle the “like a page” entry option come November 5th, they didn’t say specifically whether it will be removed, or altered to match what Woobox told us they were doing which I think is probably the best method in my opinion. You can read PromoSimple’s response to the Facebook Policy Changes here http://blog.promosimple.com/tips/facebook-says-like-gates/
Gleam.io Response to Policy Changes
Gleam.io responded with a blog post on their site that likewise mentioned immediate removal of all like gating, but they also talked about removing Facebook likes as entries and once again argued that they have the most flexible giveaway platform that integrates into more services than any other platform out there. Including Twitch, Soundcloud, YouTube, Vimeo and also further expanded direct mailing list integrations for more mailing list providers. I continued to add feedback and suggestions on possibly adding a new category of entries like “requested” but not required or optional and clearly spell out no entry granted, but we shall see if that gets implemented. You can read Gleam’s response here: http://blog.gleam.io/goodbye-facebook-like-gating/
Rafflecopter Response to Policy Changes
Rafflecopter also responded with the removal of like gates and is also looking at removal of the like entry in their blog post, but they said they are looking at it. They also mentioned that the Facebook Flash Giveaway app which allows you to run giveaways on your fanpage based on people leaving a comment is not against ToS and will remain fully operational! Read more here: http://blog.rafflecopter.com/2014/08/facebook-platform-policy-updates/
Note, Rafflecopter is the only one of the platforms that offers the free Facebook Flash Giveaway app which I really like, but the only limitation is it can only see the last 7 posts on your fanpage, so your giveaway must be one of the last 7 posts or you can’t leverage it, so it isn’t viable if you post many times per day on your fanpage.
I believe all of the platforms will eventually work to continue to have a like button, but they will alter so that it will not provide any entry, will not be required and won’t likely have a validation. Since if you can validate it, you can disqualify someone who didn’t do it, which would violate that you can’t require it. What this means is that most of the fans who enter your sweepstakes or platforms, will still probably be willing to follow your brand or sponsor at a request, even if it doesn’t provide an entry. There may be some who don’t, I have seen some who skip over optional entries or even requested ones, but majority will. This also though is a great opportunity for sweepstakes bloggers and others to diversify their social media channels, if you put all your eggs in the Facebook fanpage basket, this is your time to branch out into newsletters (mailing lists), Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and other social media channels. It is a mistake to only vest in a single social network since at any time a policy change or a ban could negate that network for you, so you should be diversifying anyway.
The other thing is you can always manually embed your brand/sponsors Facebook like buttons above the giveaway platform and request the like your brands before they enter, even if the platform doesn’t wind up offering the like buttons anymore.