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What is a Facebook Fan Gate?

As you work to make a Facebook page either on your own or with a web design firm the term Facebook fan gate may pop up. While you may not be familiar with the term, it’s not hard to understand and we’ll bet you already have more of an understanding of it than you think. Let’s take a look.

Facebook Fan Gate

A Facebook fan gate is also known as and often referred to as the reveal tab or welcome tab. Sound familiar? In fan pages for Facebook, the fan gate is the initial tab (or landing page) new visitors to your page land on. It’s not for returning fans, strictly for new visitors. Once they “Like” your fan page for facebook, and become an official fan the fan gate tab turns into different content that is available to fans only.

Using a Facebook Fan Gate

This is a useful tool for businesses and should definitely be included when making a Facebook page. Why? Well it’s important for the Facebook fan gate to include specific messaging for new visitors. This messaging typically includes an introduction to the company and Facebook fan page plus a request for them to “Like” the page. Once a visitor “Likes”/becomes a fan and they pass through the gate per se, they don’t need to be asked to “Like” the page – they already do, and they don’t need the basic information on a company, they should already have an idea. Therefore the welcome/reveal/fan gate tab for returning fans is able to present more relevant information to current fans and have a different call to action such as joining a mailing list or taking part in a contest.

Creating a Facebook Fan Gate

Previously when designing fan pages for Facebook, individuals and web design firms would use the FBML (Facebook Markup Language) app to create a Facebook fan gate. As of March, this app is no longer available – although if you have been using the app you can still use it to make changes to your current content, but you can’t add new pages. Several apps have popped up to replace the FBML app including the iFrame app – the official FBML app replacement, which supports FBML. If you choose not to use the iFrame app, you can choose a similar app from an outside source many of which are free and some you must pay for. The way these apps work to help you create a Facebook fan gate is you simply install them on your fan page for Facebook, and then use them to enter you code and images to create your Facebook fan gate. Most give you the option to create one fan gate for new visitors and current fans alike, or to create a separate fan gate for new visitors that is different than the landing page for current fans. The latter option is usually best.

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