Three years ago, Facebook rolled out a version of its “Like” button for developers to feature in their mobile apps, and now, the company is shutting it down.

On February 6, 2018, the native “Like” button embedded in third-party iOS and Android apps will no longer work.  The news was announced to developers earlier this week

Because of this, people will not be able to tap a button in the brand’s app to “like” its Facebook page or an article in a publisher’s app to help boost its reach in Facebook’s news feed  However, according to a Facebook spokesperson, developers can choose to opt to create their own buttons within their apps that link to their apps that link to their Facebook Pages, which would allow people to tap those buttons to open Facebook’s app or mobile site to the developers Page and “like” it.

How widely adopted Facebook’s native “Like” button was among mobile apps and the extent to which it played a role in the company’s decision to deprecate is unclear.

“We’re continuously evaluating how to best serve our developer community. To support this effort, we recently reviewed our product offerings to ensure our resources are focused on building and enhancing the solutions that create the most value for developers. As a result, some products will sunset in order for us to build new products for our developer community,” according to a post published by Facebook this week to its blog for developers that announced the shutdown.

Not only that, Facebook is also deprecating app invites as well.  The in-app feature allows people to solicit their friends on Facebook to try out a mobile app.  When Facebook came out with the feature in March 2015, it was billed as a way for developers to organically grow their apps’ user bases.  “Word-of-mouth is a primary driver of organic installs on mobile. App invites combines this powerful means of app discovery with the social context we provide to grow your audience organically,” according to a still-live page on Facebook’s developer site describing app installs.  But we know that “organic” is another word for free.  When it comes to using Facebook to grow their businesses, not much comes free.

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