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Social media marketing is about to lose an old friend: the “Like Gate,” that mechanism that forces you to “like” a Facebook brand page before being able to enter a promotion of some sort, is expiring November 5th. Here’s the official Facebook statement:

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, check in 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 the 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.

While like-gating is an easy metric for brands to digest and measure, the “like” has recently fallen out of favor. Why? Brand pages have seen diminished post impressions, thus reduced the value of a “like.” It’s all about engagement, and engagement requires content and curation – in other words, effort and budget to pay those who really understand social media marketing to do what your brand should be doing.

Really, a brand’s Facebook fans shouldn’t feel imprisoned by a like gate – they should be free to come and go, coming more than they go because of their engagement with the brand. The death of the like gate increases the importance for brands to realize that Facebook (like everything else) is not free, and that a sound Facebook advertising strategy should be put behind all social efforts. 

R.I.P., Like Gate.

~ Jaime Hamel, Digital Strategist, The S3 Agency


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