Social media giant Facebook is again frustrating some users with their latest policy update. The latest series of updates and changes, something veteran Facebook users have become accustomed to, have lesser-known artists and those throughout the music industry upset. The update is Facebook’s response to the growing number of pages and apps offering things like downloads, artwork, and more in exchange for likes. Here’s the official verbiage on the policy change via Gizmodo:
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 (sic) at a place or enter a promotion on your apps 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.
If you’ve downloaded or searched for music in recent years, you’ve likely come across this exchange more than a few times. For those who haven’t, the exchange is exactly what it sounds like. You obtain access to content, such as a link to download a new track or remix, by liking an artist’s page or entering a contest/promotion. This policy change defines the content that artists have offered in exchange for ‘likes’ (tracks, remixes, artwork, etc.) as artificial incentives for liking the page, rather than people liking the page because they want to connect and hear from the artist.
This tactic is often used, especially by lesser-known artists who are attempting to carve their way into the broader music landscape. It was also an affordable option for artists lacking the funds or backing to, say, pay for a ‘sponsored post’ on Facebook, which remains an option for all pages and apps. Pages and apps have until November 5th to change and update their pages to fit the new policy.
The policy changes also increase the value and authenticity of a ‘like’, something important to Facebook. This has been scrutinized heavily. Ultimately, the change, while having some obvious benefit, misses the mark. It hurts up and coming artists who lack the resources of others, while failing to address bigger reasons for the lack of ‘like’ authenticity, such as sites offering ‘likes’ in exchange for payment.
Get all the latest Pacific Northwest nightlife news, directly to your inbox.