The comping world has been relatively quiet of late, but Facebook have just changed all that with a shock announcement. After months of insisting that brand pages run competitions through third party apps, the social media giant have scrapped this guideline and announced new terms for business users. In the announcement, Facebook say they’ve made it easier to administer promotions. They’ve removed the requirement of app only so that promotions can run via the timeline. This includes a promoter being able to run a giveaway and (1) collect entries by having users post on the Page or comment/like a Page post; (2) collect entries by having users message the Page and (3) utilize likes as a voting mechanism.
Liking & Sharing Promotions
However, they still don’t allow promotions to run by “liking, sharing, or posting something on their personal Timeline”. Interestingly in Facebook’s Promotion Guidelines they indicate that they may explore the ability to allow “like and shares” in the future. They’re not permitted at present as page owners will not always be able to see the shares. This is a huge decision by Facebook but we think that they have done it simply because they’ve realised they can’t force page owners to run competitions via an app. The app requirement has been in the guidelines for considerable time, but rarely are brands penalised for not using an app. For compers this should mean more giveaways – but we do expect some issues to arise with the decision by Facebook to allow likes to be used as voting mechanism. This surely is going to lead to abuse and arguments? What puzzles us more is that we understood that Facebook had been in discussion with The IPM over “best practice” – perhaps no one told them about how much hassle voting comps generate?
We’re Slightly Disappointed
The relaxation of guidelines should be good news for promoters though – giveaways help generate page interest and interaction, something that is difficult with an app. However, on page promotions still don’t allow brands to collect data or limit issues with fake accounts – so that’s something for to consider when deciding a competition mechanic for Facebook. Overall though we’re disappointed by this development. Facebook’s dominance within comping is unlikely to diminish now and we’d expect that less giveaways will be run via brand websites. The voting element is going to cause issues – and we expect at least one or two arguments over fake accounts. Just when it seemed that these issues were becoming less prevalent. Still, it was an impossible task for Facebook to monitor “app only” contests and giveaways – this guideline change is simply a back handed way of saying that they just couldn”t enforce their own rules.