3 Recent Facebook Updates for Brand Pages

In case you haven't heard, Facebook announced that they will eliminate like-gating for Facebook pages on Nov. 5. The update reads as follows:

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, checkin 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 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, also referred to as fan-gating, is a practice that allows brands to require visitors to become a fan of their Facebook page in order to view protected content, redeem coupons or enter sweepstakes. This practice is commonly used by companies to "get more likes" on their brand pages.

The change seems to be an effort to force brands to provide more value and relevant content to all of their followers, as well as prevent inflated engagement metrics. However, if you're already providing great content, this isn't something that you should get bent out of shape over.

Additionally, Facebook announced that they will begin penalizing links that use "click-baiting" to entice readers to click on their link. "'Click-baiting' is when a publisher posts a link with a headline that encourages people to click to see more, without telling them much information about what they will see."

Facebook's stance is that posts that use click-bait tend to receive significantly more engagement than posts with normal headlines, thus flooding users feeds with low-quality content (and undermining their news feed algorithms). While some savvy marketers may have good run garnering undeserved clicks, this seems like another step on Facebook's part to improve the quality of content shared on the site.

Lastly, Facebook stated that they will be giving preference to links that are shared in Facebook's link format, over posts that include an image with a link in the text area. This relatively minor change notes that "the best way to share a link after these updates will be to use the link format. In our studies, these posts have received twice as many clicks compared to links embedded in photo captions."

You can stay up-to-date on changes at Facebook via their company blog.