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Facebook Bans Like-Gating, Google Incentivizes Secure Websites

Like-gating-banBoth Facebook and Google have announced big moves that will affect music promotions on Facebook and Google search rankings for music websites. While the Facebook move will disrupt like-gating, for example, liking a Facebook page to get a free download, the Google move is simply the right thing to do. However Facebook's move requires you to simply stop doing something. Responding to Google's move is going to require some decision making and likely additional expense.

Facebook Tires Of Not Being Able To Monetize Your Like-Gating

Facebook has updated developer policies and, as Emil Protalinski points out, changes include an upcoming ban on incentives to like a Facebook page:

"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."

What this basically blocks is all those services that used software to manage Like-gating for contests or free downloads. After November 5th such incentives will no longer be acceptable.

This is actually good in one way because it's a reminder that, unless you're paying Facebook, you're a user and not a customer.

When looked at from that perspective, users exist to be used as part of the product which is being delivered to advertisers.

Google Moves To Encourage Secure Websites

image from wp.streetwise.coGoogle's taking a different route and pushing for encryption on all sites by using it as a ranking signal for search engine results. At first it will be a "weak" signal so there's no need to panic but if you sell stuff on your site or require a login, you need to do this anyway.

Here's an intro guide to SSL which has had some real problems lately.

There are other good reasons to use SSL for a whole site beyond transactions especially due to vulnerability on mobile phones.

If you're wanting to go ahead and get an SSL Certificate talk to your webhost. Keep in mind that your site is going to be slower especially if you use a free SSL option.

I'll be gathering more practical info and attempting to translate it out of techspeak in the next couple of weeks. Keep in mind that you'll be seeing a lot on this topic over time. It's nothing to freak out about but it may require you to reevaluate your hosting needs as well.

Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch) also blogs at DanceLand. Send news about music tech startups and services, DIY music biz and music marketing to: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.