Facebook announced major changes to its promotions guidelines. The most significant change is the removal of the requirement that all promotions on Facebook only be administered within apps. In the previous guidelines, promotions could not utilize any native Facebook functionality as a registration or entry mechanism, as a voting mechanism, or to notify winners. Under the new guidelines, promotions may now be administered on Page Timelines or apps, and promotions may use native Facebook functionality to collect entries, administer the promotion, and notify winners. For example, Pages can now collect entries by having users post on the Page or comment/like a Page post, or by having users message the Page. Facebook also removed the requirement that promotions disclose that the participant is providing information to the Sponsor and not to Facebook.

Some things have not changed. Personal Timelines still cannot be used to administer promotions (e.g., “share on your Timeline to enter” or “share on your friend's Timeline to get additional entries” is not permitted). Promotion sponsors are of course still responsible for the lawful operation of a promotion on Facebook, including the official rules, offer terms and eligibility requirements (e.g., age and residency restrictions), and compliance with regulations governing the promotion and all prizes offered in connection with the promotion (e.g., registration and obtaining necessary regulatory approvals). Additionally, all promotions on Facebook must still include: (1) a complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant; and (2) acknowledgement that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. Finally, sponsors can still run promotions through apps, which can enable the sponsor to create a more personalized experience and collect data in a more secure, structured way, but if they do, the app will need a privacy policy.

Tip: Advertisers can now run promotions directly on their Facebook Page Timelines and use Facebook functionality as an entry, voting, and notification mechanism for the promotions, but still cannot use Personal Timelines to administer promotions.