You’ll now see fewer spammy applications begging you for Facebook Likes.
On Thursday, Facebook made some changes to its Platform Policies that will stop app creators from asking users to Like their page in order to view special videos, win prizes, or get other giveaways.
First reported by The Next Web, this policy change means that Facebook-linked apps will have to get people to like them the old fashioned way—simply because they do. This ban on Like incentives for app pages goes into effect on November 5.
This doesn’t just affect games you play on Facebook—a wide variety of consumer brands and publishers have Facebook-connected apps, and there’s a good chance some of them have hit you up at some point to Like their page. That’s a common reason why Facebook users sometimes complain that the site reports them as having clicked Like on a page when they don’t recall doing so.
Developers can still give incentives for other behaviors, like logging in with their Facebook account or checking into a store location on Facebook. They can also offer promotions and contests—they just can’t ask users to Like a page in order to participate in them.
In a post, Facebook engineer Harshdeep Singh described the new policy:
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.
In addition to the Likes policy getting stricter, Facebook now requires developers to disclose whether their games include mandatory or optional in-app charges.
The move to be more transparent about pay-to-play games comes on the heels of the European Union demanding developers and app stores to be clear about the real price of playing mobile games.
Lead image by Luca Sartoni.