Facebook recently modified its Page Terms and, in particular, its Promotions Guidelines.  Facebook first announced the changes on August 27th via a news release on its Business Blog.  Here are some of the key changes that have been made:

  • You are no longer required to run a promotion on Facebook through an app on Facebook (i.e. either on a Canvas Page or an app on a Page Tab). Although promotions may be administered on Pages or within apps on Facebook, Personal Timelines cannot be used to administer promotions.
  • The former prohibition against using Facebook features/functionality as a promotion’s registration/entry mechanism and conditioning registration/entry on a user using Facebook functionality/features has been revised.  For example, as per the Facebook news release, you can now collect entries by having users:
    • post on the Page;
    • comment/like a Page post; or
    • message the Page

Further, it is no longer explicitly prohibited to notify winners through Facebook.

  • The former prohibition against using Facebook functionality/features as a voting mechanism has been revised.  For example, as per the Facebook news release, you can now use “likes” as a voting mechanism.
  • It is prohibited to inaccurately tag content or encourage users to inaccurately tag content.  On this point, the Facebook news release states you cannot ask people to tag themselves in pictures of a new product in exchange for a chance to win a prize.

These changes will allow greater flexibility in terms of the options available to communicate or administer a promotion on Facebook.   However, caution must still be exercised – “you are responsible for the lawful operation of that promotion”.