Over the last few days, Facebook has removed the ability of Page admins to “invite” Facebook users to like their page, after those people first like a post from that Page. Instead, admins now have the option to “Add Friend”.
If you are a Facebook advertiser, this is a pretty big deal. Many Facebook Page admins and marketers write posts and then “boost’ them (pay money to Facebook to display the posts to targeted audiences beyond those who like their page). When Facebook users like these posts, it doesn’t mean they necessarily like the corresponding Page… so a long term relationship with the user has not yet been struck. The secondary benefit was that the Page admins could follow up with those users and send an invitation to like the Page. This is how many marketers justified the cost of boosting a post– that they would also pick up these follow-up Page like as well.
At least for now, that is no longer the case.
In a peculiar move, Facebook has instead replaced the “Invite” option with “Add Friend”. How many admins of a Page want to invite strangers who like a Page post into their network of friends? Umm… none? Exactly. It is hard to understand what the thought process was in making the change.
There is always the chance that this was simply a bug Facebook accidentally introduced, and it will be fixed in short order. Meanwhile, Facebook advertisers are forming Facebook groups and expressing their dismay on Twitter (#bringbackinvites) in hopes of reversing this policy.
UPDATE: Facebook has mysteriously brought back the Invite option. Crazy.