In news just in, Facebook has changed its rules for Pages running promotions. It is no longer a requirement to use a third party app. So share and like is now legal.  You can read the  new Facebook Promotion Guidelines 2013 here (pdf).

UPDATE: As @ColmHanratty pointed out, it’s a bit vague on sharing. It isn’t expressly prohibited like tagging, but it isn’t mentioned at all. So it’s up to you what you do.  One of the issues with sharing is that with privacy settings you wouldn’t be able to see if something is shared or not. Also, you would need to be aware that with the recently changed algorithm for the newsfeed, low quality content is “penalised”. I think you could assume that share and like page competitions would fall into that category.

Previously this was a big no-no, and I’ve written about this before. Facebook originally made it illegal around the end of 2009 because it was wide open legally with all the promos that were emerging and sweepstakes law in the US is a bit complicated. But now it seems that they have thrown up their hands (Italian style) and more or less admitted they can’t control or stop the proliferation of share and likes on the platform.

The New Rules For Running A Facebook Promotion

  • Collect entries by having users post on the Page or comment/like a Page post
  • Collect entries by having users message the Page

What You Can’t Do When Running A Facebook Promotion

  • You can’t run promos using tagging or encouraging people to tag themselves in content that they are not actually depicted in (like the infamous IKEA tagging campaign)
  • You can’t run promos on a personal profile – and if you are still running your business through a personal profile, that’s just naff… and you need help.

Who Will Use Apps?

You can only use ads to promote your competition if you’re running with an app.  So the brands who seek to reach out and increase their fans by (hundreds of) thousands will continue to use the old app + ads formula.  But the little guys who wish to run competitions and seed them out via their existing fan base are going to be much happier now.

A Facebook Insider told me that they are also moving away from engagement metrics and pushing direct response off site. They no longer refer to themselves as social media, but as a ‘marketing platform’.  It’s all about ads these days, not apps.

A new flavour of Facebook.  Maybe we’ll look back on the years prior to IPO with nostalgia.  Now it’s all about ads, less about engagement, and God are those newsfeeds going to get noisy. (I shed a tear…)


Image credit: Owen Brown



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