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Monday, 19 March 2012 13:51
Comment: When do social media ‘likes’ become spam?
Citi has become the latest card issuer to offer rewards for cardholders who “like” them on Facebook.

By sharing or “liking” deals and offers from the Citi Clear card, users can earn one reward point per like, up to a maximum of 5,000.

These reward points can be redeemed for a range of deals such as nightspot privileges.

The growing pressure by companies to force social media ‘likes’ raises two questions.

Is this acceptable business practice?

How long will it be before it is no longer sociably acceptable to pass on what is in effect marketing spam to one’s friends?

Like email, if too many companies behave badly over social media ‘likes’, they run the risk of turning it into a devalued currency.
 
In the same way that it is now considered bad form to talk loudly on a mobile phone in a restaurant, could it soon be regarded as unwelcome behaviour to send friends and colleagues junk “likes” just because you want to earn a few reward points on your credit card?
 
This is a major issue for card issuers to consider as the trickle of social media launches becomes a torrent. Citi’s introduction of its Clear24.7 social media rewards app in Singapore is the third major launch this month following new offerings from Amex and Barclaycard.
 
While it is one thing to alert your friends to something you think might have value to them, spamming them with “likes” is something else entirely.
 
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