The Facebook Promotional Guidelines have been updated this morning to allow Facebook promotions to be conducted via brand page Timelines rather than having to take place within a Facebook App on a Page Tab.
Previously the guidelines stated that competition entry and voting must not utilise any native Facebook functionality eg. liking or commenting on a post to enter, messaging your entry to the page, or liking to vote on entries on the brand Timeline or even within an app.
Now all of these functions are legal, meaning that brands no longer have to bear the costs of creating a third party promotional app to run a promotion on Facebook. This is really exciting news and means that lead times and expenses associated with small scale Facebook competitions will be drastically reduced. It also dramatically raises the potential of promotional activity to achieve organic (unpaid) virality and reach.
Promotion basics such as terms and conditions and permits (where relevant) are still obviously required for Facebook promotions.
For large scale promotions I would still recommend building third-party promotional apps for now, as data collection (eg. emails and mailing addresses) is a lot easier with a form page in an app than a haphazard on-Timeline entry mechanic.
This is an unexpected move from Facebook, which has previously kept these regulations in place to contain competition spam in apps and prevent it from clogging user News Feeds. Hopefully this change won’t result in a poorer user experience for the platform’s one billion active members.
Here’s what Facebook has said on their blog:
We’ve updated our Pages Terms in order to make it easier for businesses of all sizes to create and administer promotions on Facebook. Here’s what Page administrators need to know:
We’ve removed the requirement that promotions on Facebook only be administered through apps
Now, promotions may be administered on Page Timelines and in apps on Facebook. For example, businesses can now:
· Collect entries by having users post on the Page or comment/like a Page post
· Collect entries by having users message the Page
· Utilize likes as a voting mechanism
As before, however, businesses cannot administer promotions on personal Timelines.
Accurate tagging is required in promotions
In order to maintain the accuracy of Page content, our Pages Terms now prohibit Pages from tagging or encouraging people to tag themselves in content that they are not actually depicted in. So, for instance:
· It’s OK to ask people to submit names of a new product in exchange for a chance to win a prize
· It’s not OK to ask people tag themselves in pictures of a new product in exchange for a chance to win a prize
We hope these updates will enable more businesses to use Facebook to launch their promotions. For more information regarding the changes to our promotions policies, check out our downloadable Promotion Guidelines, which include FAQs and best practices for running promotions through Facebook.