Boy, it’s been a hard year for the Facebook “like” — because, well, no one likes it anymore.
First came the news that a simple “like” was useless – to advertisers anyway –because it has long ago stopped meaning that consumers who “like” advertiser pages will actually see the content that is then stuffed into their News Feed
And then, this week, came this news: Facebook is now disallowing most incentivized “liking,” of the “’Like’-our-page-if-you-want-to-enter-the-sweepstakes” variety. From a post on a Facebook developer blog: “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.”
Now, this is a sad day. If you can’t trick people into liking your Facebook page, why even get up in the morning?
Or is it such a sad day?
I think not. It’s actually a much-needed reset of what used to be advertisers’ baseline Facebook currency, a measurement of their worth. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen an advertiser boast about its number of “likes,” at least publicly, for three reasons:
1. A lot of these “likes” were just the sort of ill-begotten, meaningless clicks that came out of this silly incentivizing meme.
2. Given the death of organic reach, it’s become less and less clear what those “likes” actually mean, anyway.
3. Lastly, marketers who don’t do social media for a living stopped pointing to their “likes” because their social specialists told them to. “Shut up about the number of ‘likes’ we have, already! You’re embarrassing yourself!”