Facebook to punish brands who ask for likes. Earned media takes another hit.

Asking for a ‘like’, may soon to be considered spam by Facebook according to this article on the Verge. The original announcement made by Facebook here. It presents more grey areas for companies and agencies using Facebook. Add to this the recent stories which suggest Facebook brand pages are getting less influential (unless of course you pay ad dollars to promote your story) and it is easy to see why more brands are no longer seeing Facebook as the promised land, but one that is rapidly becoming more regulated, complex and expensive. With Stable IDs and Known IDs becoming strategically important to brands as era of the cookie draws to an end, there are many reasons for brands to be thinking about using marketing dollars to drive their customers to their ‘owned environments’ rather than Facebook.


No you will not like our page!

You can see Facebook’s intentions are to keep a nice clean timeline for their customers, but many brands will again start to wonder what they have to do to play in an arena where the rules change often without warning. Advertisers like to push boundaries and there’s no reason to suggest that Facebook’s rules always benefit the customer. Remember the whopper sacrifice campaign? This is a great ad campaign but Facebook didn’t like it so they changed the rules.


As a creative, I’ve always found Facebook a more frustrating canvas to work with as time has passed. It’s an unstable landscape in terms of functionality and a very limited one as an artistic malleable canvas. What you can do in that tiny bit of their real estate is getting harder and harder and room for being disruptive is very tough. Advertisers like Facebook because of the dynamic social environment and potential scale of eyeballs, but this is rapidly turning into an environment where it is basically pay per view restricted content. The ‘earned media’ component advertisers loved is certainly becoming less viable.

Whilst I might sound a bit down on Facebook, this is just my nature as an ideas person. I don’t like rules that restrict creative opportunities. Just because some people misbehave (according to Facebook) why restrict everyone else? It’s like banning fireworks universally without considering the people who know how to safely and responsibly use fireworks. I’ve seen little from Facebook recently that makes me think there are more possibilities to do great work within Facebook, only less.



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