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Facebook Reduces Restrictions on Promotions


Until last week, promoting a competition on a Facebook Page was limited to third party applications as Facebook distanced itself from external data collection and various competition laws for its many Page owners.

Now, in a recent blog post, Facebook has removed the need to employ a third party app to manage competitions. The announcement is of particular benefit to small businesses, where competition entries can potentially be collated via users “liking” or commenting on a status, or by messaging the Page owner.

Strangely, “sharing” is not a permissible option, which seems to defy the very nature of social media and dowses any flames of a competition’s viral potential.

Perhaps Facebook’s decision to exclude “sharing” has something to do with the latest update to the News Feed ranking algorithm, which Facebook claims1 to help ensure that organic content people see from Pages they are connected to is the most interesting to them.

Another prohibition within the new Facebook promotions guidelines outlines that businesses cannot encourage users to tag themselves in a picture or post to enter into a competition.

So why the change now? Perhaps because Facebook has conceded that it cannot police the countless rogue brands that break the rules. While some Pages were removed for breaching Facebook’s terms and conditions, many infringed without any consequence.

So if you’re no longer breaking the rules, what’s the incentive to commission app developers? Third party apps are still an option for managing a competition and data collation and, ultimately, offer a more streamlined and efficient way to collect a myriad of data sets, beyond those that are available through Timeline managed promotions.

Smaller brands will benefit from not having to invest in customised options, but will lose out on the aggregating data integrated systems, such as eDMs, can help collect.

Brands of all sizes should be mindful of some of the reasons why Facebook constrained promotions in the first place (including regional sweepstake jurisdictions and age restriction violations), and mitigate risk with comprehensive House Rules, Contest Terms and Conditions, and an emergency community response plan.  
Want to develop a Facebook competition with or without third-party developers, but still don’t know where to start? Contact the Adcorp Digital Team for more information about interactive contests that get results.

Fiona Downie, Digital Community Manager





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