Facebooks Re-Releases Promotion Guidelines

On December 2, 2010, Facebook released its new updated Promotions Guidelines. These are significant changes to the original guidelines and will likely affect all promotions offered on Facebook. The new guidelines may be found here.

As with Facebook’s prior release of promotions guidelines, sponsors must use third party approved promotions providers, but the guidelines have gotten more stringent. Currently, entrants make only enter on the canvas page of the promotions application or a tabbed application “box” on the wall of a sponsor’s Facebook page.

Facebook is also requiring a more conspicuous notice relating to sponsorship, including a blatant disclosure adjacent to the promotion and within the rules that This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. You are providing your information to [list discloses] and not to Facebook. The information you provide will only be used for [disclose any and all uses]. In addition, Facebook now requires that all promotion rules include a release of liability to Facebook.

The new release of guidelines also affect promotions that are not administered through Facebook, but where the sponsor uses Facebook to advertise an offsite promotion. Up to this point, Sponsors could advertise their own promotions held on different sites through Facebook without having to abide by the Facebook guidelines.

A significant change to the Facebook guidelines is that you cannot give an entrant an automatic entry simply by having then “like” the sponsor page or by “checking in” at the sponsor location; the entrant must also affirmatively enter the sweepstakes or contest. Thus, while you can require that entrants “like” or “check-in” to your page before you provide them access to an entry, the entrant must actually take another step to enter.

Another key change to the Facebook guidelines is the winner notification process. Facebook now forbids sponsors from notifying winner using the Facebook

Facebook still allows sponsors to require someone “like” their Facebook fan page, but Facebook expressly provides that sponsors may not require any other action from entrants, such as posting a statement on the sponsor’s wall, or playing a game.

With the bad, comes some good. Facebook used to require advance consent of Facebook prior to launching a promotion. That requirement has been repealed, thus allowing sponsors to post promotions much more quickly.



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