Facebook update! The good bits and some potential issues

By Connor James

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Facebook updated its Facebook Page Terms on 26 August 2013 and the changes have far reaching implications in the world of competitions and trade promotions. There is already a reasonable amount of commentary but in this article we want to just let you know what the changes are and how they will impact you.

Easier to set up and more options

The big news is that Facebook promotions no longer have to be administered via an application in Facebook. Previously entry into a Facebook competition could not be on the basis of purely ‘liking a page’ but now, it potentially could be. There are still some restriction on the ways that people can be allowed to enter, specifically on the use of Personal Timelines to administer promotions:

“Promotions may be administered on Pages or within apps on Facebook. Personal Timelines must not be used to administer promotions (ex: “share on your Timeline to enter” or “share on your friend’s Timeline to get additional entries” is not permitted).”

Examples from Facebook of what is now okay, include for a business to:

“a. Collect entries by having users post on the Page or comment/like a Page post;

b. Collect entries by having users message the Page; and

c. Utilize likes as a voting mechanism.”

These changes introduce greater choice in terms of the entry mechanics which can be used for a Facebook competition.

The challenge introduced by the greater range of options is for marketers to ensure that they continue to review and manage the risks. Under trade promotion laws there is a requirement to keep records of entries and winners, and to ensure that only valid entries are included in a draw.

An example of where this could be a problem is where a business runs a competition open only to Australian residents over the age of 18 with entry via ‘liking’ a Facebook page. Without the entrant providing their details there would need to be another way of confirming that entries are valid.

Publication of winners on Facebook

Another significant change is the removal of the restriction on publishing winners of a competition on a Facebook page. In the past we were constantly asked to justify why this restriction was in place and we are glad we won’t have to in future.

Where responsibility lies

Responsibility for a promotion conducted on Facebook still lies with the business who has set it up. Facebook promotions must still contain:

“a. a complete release by each entrant or participant of Facebook; and

b. Acknowledgement that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.”

This in effect means that you (the Promoter) are responsible for ensuring that the promotion you run complies with Facebook’s terms and all other applicable laws. In Australia, significantly, this means that if you are running a chance-based competition you will still need compliant terms and conditions and competition permits.

For more information contact us or go to: https://www.facebook.com/facebookforbusiness/news/page-promotions-terms