How to Create a Facebook Like Gate

As social networking sites are becoming more and more popular among Internet users, the importance of these sites in advertising is growing.

Several methods have been developed in order to use the opportunities of social media in general and Facebook in particular. A very popular method of enhancing audience of a website is getting Facebook 'likes'.

A high number of Facebook 'likes' shows that people are enjoying the content of the page. But this is not only a popularity contest, advertisers can communicate with potential buyers using Facebook 'likes' and get free promotion on that user's Facebook page.

The owners of websites and fan pages make efforts to get more 'likes'. Therefore they offer advantages for people who liked their pages. An efficient way to make users like a page is creating a like gate. With the help of a like gate, a certain content is displayed only for people who liked the page. When the page is liked, a hidden content appears. This may contain an ebook, a coupon, a contest or some kind of exclusive information.

A Facebook like gate can be embedded on any webpage or facebook fan page, but a custom tab is needed. The steps of creating a like gate are summarized below:

  1. You have to create a Facebook application that you can control. This is done with the Facebook Developer Application. If you haven't created an application before, you need to add it to your Facebook apps. Search for 'Developer' in Facebook to find it and click on 'Add'

  2. Once it is added, you can start to create your own app. Click the 'Create New App' button at the top of the Developers page.

  3. Give the app a name. You have to fill the display name and the namespace, but these can be the same. Click continue.

  4. You can change the icon of the app if you want using the 'edit icon' button.

  5. Fill in the details of the 'Page Tab' section. The Page Tab Name is the name of the tab that will appear on your Facebook page, and Page Tab URL is the webpage you are using.

  6. Configure the app in the 'App on Facebook' section. Fill in the Canvas URL, this is the URL of the webpage that will appear in your Facebook page. Secure Canvas URL is the same as the above but on a HTTPS server. The Canvas is actually a blank canvas within Facebook on which the app runs. The content will be displayed within the standard Facebook iframe chrome.

  7. Set the Canvas Width either to Fixed (760px) or to Fluid. When it is set to Fluid, Facebook sets the iframe width to 100%.

  8. Set the Canvas Height to Fluid, in this case the content will fill the page and Facebook will show scroll-bars if the content exceeds the height of the page.

  9. Click 'Save Change'.

  10. Now you have to enter the necessary code into the source code of the webpage the Facebook app is referring to. The code checks if the Facebook page has been 'liked' by the user.

    At the top of your file place the following PHP code:
    //This gets the signed_request from FB which checks the 'liked' status on the current page
    $signed_request = $_REQUEST["signed_request"];
    list($encoded_sig, $payload) = explode('.', $signed_request, 2);
    $data = json_decode(base64_decode(strtr($payload, '-_', '+/')), true);
    $app_data = isset($data["app_data"]) ? $data["app_data"] : '';
    $_REQUEST["fb_page_id"] = $data["page"]["id"];
    $access_admin = $data["page"]["admin"] == 1;
    $has_liked = $data["page"]["liked"] == 1;

  11. Now define what content should see people who have liked your page and what content will be displayed to people who have not:

    Content for people who have liked the page.

    Content for people who have not liked the page.

  12. Click on 'App to Page' on your apps profile page in Facebook and your like-gate will be visible through the apps tab.
It is advisable to use also the other tools of Facebook to bring more audience to your fan page, invite friends, email contacts and you can create Facebook ads as well.




1 Comment

anonymous by Wilco de Kreij on 9/25/2012
Great explanation, although I'm not sure whether all people are technical enough to understand it :) You could also considering using a WordPress plugin such as WP4FB 2.0! :)

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