Facebook bans apps offering free content for likes

Aug 11, 2014 | Facebook marketing, Mobile, Social media

Facebook has cracked down on apps that incentivise app downloads in exchange for likes, as the social network looks to increase the value and meaning of its social metrics for advertisers. Under the new rules on the social network, app developers will not be able to incentivise users for utilising social plugins or liking a […]

Facebook has cracked down on apps that incentivise app downloads in exchange for likes, as the social network looks to increase the value and meaning of its social metrics for advertisers.


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Under the new rules on the social network, app developers will not be able to incentivise users for utilising social plugins or liking a Page.
Facebook notes that developers can still incentivise users to log into their app, like their app’s Page, enter a promotion on their app’s Page, or check-in at a place.
The move comes as part of an updated Platform Policy which coincides with the release of its updated Graph API v2.1, as well as updated Android and iOS SDKs for developers.
On its new policy page, the rule reads like this:

“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.”

All the developers will have to make required changes to conform to the new Platform Policy by November 5.
Under the changes, game developers will also have to mention in their app’s description (on Facebook, or other platforms) if there are any mandatory or optional in-app charges associated with the game. Facebook thinks that this will give users a clear indication about if game may charge them at some point.
Meanwhile, the updated Graph API v2.1 incorporates ‘several commonly requested’ features for developers, with the company’s stated goal being to increase consistency and simplicity.
Facebook says that the new API is now available starting Thursday for all apps, and will be used as the default API for all new apps. Developers can see the full changelog for a full list of changes.

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