New Facebook Promotions Guidelines - Decoded

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On May 11th 2011 - Facebook, yet again, updated their 'Promotions Guidelines'. So what does this mean for us? Well, essentially it is now harder than ever to run a successful promotional campaign on Facebook.

The problem is, most of us don't have the time or inclination to sit and read the Facebook 'Promotions Guidelines', let alone decode all the legal 'jargon'. But don't worry, I've [selflessly] taken the time to review each point and provide a simple explanation of what it means.

Italic text is lifted directed from the Facebook Promotions Guidelines (last revised: May 11, 2011) and the text in italics is my 'decoding'... Enjoy!

"Promotions on Facebook must be administered within Apps on, either on a Canvas Page or an app on a Page Tab."

Under no circumstances should competitions / promotions be run outside of an app (e.g. on a Facebook wall.)

"Promotions on Facebook must include the following:

a. A complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant."

Entrants tick a box or agree to T’s & C’s that state Facebook has no association or jurisdiction over the promotion / competition.

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

Meaning that you should explicitly state that Facebook has no association or affiliation with your competition.

"c. Disclosure that the participant is providing information to [disclose recipient(s) of information] and not to Facebook."

Explicitly state you / your company receive the details of entrants of your competition, not Facebook.

"You must not use Facebook features or functionality as a promotion’s registration or entry mechanism. For example, the act of liking a Page or checking in to a Place cannot automatically register or enter a promotion participant."

You cannot use Facebook functionality as part of your promotion e.g. writing on a wall, uploading, checking in or liking.

"You must not condition registration or entry upon the user taking any action using any Facebook features or functionality other than liking a Page, checking in to a Place, or connecting to your app. For example, you must not condition registration or entry upon the user liking a Wall post, or commenting or uploading a photo on a Wall."

As stated above. You cannot ask people to like, check-in, upload or say or anything to enter a promotion – it must be done through an app!

"You must not use Facebook features or functionality, such as the Like button, as a voting mechanism for a promotion."

No liking to vote in a competition! Hence we’ve broken our souls to create an app for our client, the Mikki Pet Britain's Next Dog Model 2011 competition!

You can’t tell people they’ve won on / through Facebook. You must gather a telephone / e-mail address through an app and inform them outside of Facebook.

"You may not use Facebook’s name, trademarks, trade names, copyrights, or any other intellectual property in connection with a promotion or mention Facebook in the rules or materials relating to the promotion, except as needed to fulfill your obligations under Section 2."

Don’t use any terminology or graphics in your app – e.g. the thumbs up ‘Like’ button!

The definitions are pretty self-explanatory.

a. By “administration” we mean the operation of any element of the promotion, such as collecting entries, conducting a drawing, judging entries, or notifying winners.

b. By “communication” we mean promoting, advertising or referencing a promotion in any way on Facebook, e.g., in ads, on a Page, or in a Wall post.

c. By “contest” or “competition” we mean a promotion that includes a prize of monetary value and a winner determined on the basis of skill (i.e., through judging based on specific criteria).

d. By “sweepstakes” we mean a promotion that includes a prize of monetary value and a winner selected on the basis of chance.

In essence, Facebook are removing themselves from all responsibility of promotions and competitions and the only real way for you and I to promote our clients and businesses is to use 3rd party applications... Good luck!

Read the Facebook Promotion Guidelines in full.

Photo (cc) FindYourSearch.