Pay With A Like? Share Before You Can See Content?

I’m always looking for new ways to bring traffic to our network of sites, but the new “Pay With A Like” plugin from WPMU feels socially dishonest to me.

The Pay with a Like plugin lets you leverage the power of social currency in order to give access to content or a download. You know your content is share-worthy, but how do you get those lazy visitors to take a minute to share with their friends? Make them pay with a Like on Facebook!

Content becomes visible after a user pays by sharing your post. And it’s not just for Facebook Likes – users can also pay with a Tweet, a Google +1, or a share on LinkedIn.

The plugin is also very easy to use. It comes with a built-in button to protect specific content within a post through use of shortcodes:

Don’t get me wrong, we’re never above asking people to like us when we run a competition or something, but asking people to share your site or post before they’ve even seen the content, before they even know if it’s share-worthy, well that just flies in the face of what social sharing is about in my opinion.

Also, I wonder if this wouldn’t have the potential to backfire?

When we rolled out changes to our sites recently that had 12 excerpts on the front page instead of 3 full posts, the backlash from readers had us scrambling to change the format because a lot of users just won’t make that extra click see the content. Call it laziness or whatever you want, some folks just won’t do it.


6 thoughts on “Pay With A Like? Share Before You Can See Content?

  1. I don’t click through for these.
    Sometimes I run across them more than once, in which case I get annoyed and block the site.


    1. Thanks for the comment.

      I normally love what the folks at WPMU do, but this plugin just strikes me as being the sort of thing that will be used a LOT by sites that don’t know better or are trying to boost numbers with poor content to make a quick buck, instead of letting their content do the talking.


    2. Then you’re what we call a ‘bandwidth vampire.’ Likely not worth the time and should be blocked from visiting the site all together. I honestly can’t believe the sense of self-entitlement that visitors get. Do you think that hosting, promotion and all the costs that come along with running a high-traffic website disappear at the end of the month? I think a plugin like this is a great way to get your site further exposed without imposing too much.


      1. As someone who runs a number of very high bandwidth sites (I also do the promotion and pay for the bandwidth out of my own pocket), I can definitely say that not liking plugins that force someone to like something on Facebook before they see it does not make one a “vampire bandwidth”.

        The social contract is that you only promote something that you actually like. That is your “payment” (along with their CPM advertising or whatever) for hosting/posting the content.

        Making somebody “like” something before they see it is essentially like asking someone to pay you $5 for a drink without telling you what you’re going to get for it.

        You might get a nice glass of wine or you could get a cup off piss, and even if you get the cup of piss it’s too late, because you’ve already “liked” it on Facebook and told all your friends that they need to come drink the piss too.


      2. Thats a funny analogy you used there, but honestly there are some exceptions. Imagine a situation where visitors already know the quality of the content delivered via a particular site (due to the past engagements) but the upcoming periodicals (or webinars) can leverage social sharing with WPMU plugin. What do you say about that?


      3. Past quality is not guarantee of future quality. If you content is good, it will be shared, it’s that simple.

        Let the content speak for itself, and your users make up their own minds about what they feel is good and share worthy or not. It’s the only way you’ll learn as a content creator.


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