Facebook Revises Promotions Guidelines, Makes Contests Legal!

It’s been a great week for the marketing industry at large:


I apologize for the bolding, really I do. But for those of you on the marketing side…and actually on the client side—really, everyone—this is huge. For the past, well, forever in the world of Facebook for Business, hosting a contest on Facebook that was not part of an app has been against Facebook’s terms and conditions, with risk of page termination if detected.

Which is why, for as long as I can remember, we’ve been advising clients to play it safe. Though there never seemed to be visible repercussions to the hundreds of businesses bending—or outright disobeying—the rules, it was always in our better professional judgement to advise against it.

Hopefully for the last time ever, let’s revisit the completely crippling promotional rules of Facebook’s past:

You will not administer a promotion through Facebook, except through an application on the Facebook Platform. Administration includes operation of any element of the promotion, such as collecting entriesconducting a drawing, judging entries, or notifying winners.

Screenshot of Greenies Facebook App Contest

Simply put, you could not host any sort of contest using Facebook functions unless it was hosted on an app, located in the tabbed menu under the Page profile photo. (Check out The GREENIES Brand Facebook page above for an example.) For the entrant, this too included using any of Facebook’s functions to enter a contest, including liking a photo, a page, uploading a photo, changing a Facebook status, tagging yourself in a photo, etc. You name IT, you couldn’t do it.

On Tuesday, Facebook surprised us all with a completely revised set of terms and conditions, which are really more like permissions at this point:

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

You can read the full announcement of Facebook’s News page.

So, for now, I encourage you give freely, inspire creativity and spur competition among your Facebook audience.

You deserve it. It’s been far too long.

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