5 Facebook Promotion Guidelines that No Longer Exist

This content discusses five Facebook Page guidelines that no longer exist, as well as the current guidelines for running promotions on Facebook.

By Dana Kilroy ・3 min read
Social Media

Facebook is continually changing their Facebook Page Guidelines. They change so often it can be hard to keep up. We still receive a frequent questions about what is legal -- or not -- when it comes to running a promotion through Facebook. In recent months, Facebook dropped a majority of their guidelines.Here is a look at five Facebook Page guidelines that no longer exist.

PREVIOUS GUIDELINE: Promotions on Facebook must be administered within Apps on, either on a Canvas Page or a Page App.In August 2013, Facebook announced that businesses could administer Facebook Promotions on their Timeline or using a third-party application.  If you decide to host a promotion on your Timeline, but still want to collect some user data, it's worth looking into a Comment/Like importer tool so you can collect your entries into a database for easy winner selection.

PREVIOUS GUIDELINE: 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.  Seeing as businesses are now allowed to run promotions on their Timeline, Facebook was forced to remove this guideline that said Page admins could not use Facebook features as a means to enter. With Timeline promotions, fans are able to Like or Comment as a means of entering. However, you are still not able to require fans to "Share" a post on their personal Timeline or with their friends as a means of entering a contest.

PREVIOUS GUIDELINE: You must not use Facebook features or functionality, such as the Like button, as a voting mechanism for a promotion. Along with the previous point, once Facebook allowed promotions to be run on the Timeline, they also had to allow Facebook features, such as Liking a comment or post, to be a means of voting on a promotion. For example, you could host a Timeline promotion asking people to comment on the post and then "Like" the comments to vote for their favorite entry.

PREVIOUS GUIDELINE: 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. As of today you are allowed to use "Liking" a Page as a means to enter a promotion. The only thing we get hung up on is how you know if someone has Liked your Page to enter your promotion or has Liked it for another reason. We find this very hard to track, therefore we don't recommend businesses using the "Like" feature as a sole means of entry. However, if you wanted to use the "check-in" feature as a means of entry, that could lead to an interesting and new contest for fans.

PREVIOUS GUIDELINE: You must not notify winners through Facebook, such as through Facebook messages, chat, or posts on profiles (timelines) or Pages. Facebook recently decided they were okay with business Page's notifying contest winners via status updates, private messages, chat, etc. Here are 5 legal ways you can contact winners today.Now that we've gone over the Facebook promotion guidelines that no longer exist, lets take a quick look at the most recent guidelines you need to be aware of as a business Page on Facebook.

TODAY'S FACEBOOK PROMOTION GUIDELINES Date of Last Revision: January 16, 2015

E.    Promotions

1. If you use Facebook to communicate or administer a promotion (ex: a contest or sweepstakes), you are responsible for the lawful operation of that promotion, including:

    a.   The official rules;

    b.   Offer terms and eligibility requirements (ex: age and residency restrictions); and

    c.   Compliance with applicable rules and regulations governing the promotion and all prizes offered (ex: registration and obtaining necessary regulatory approvals)

2. Promotions on Facebook must include the following:

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

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

3. Promotions may be administered on Pages or within apps on Facebook. Personal Timelines and friend connections 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”, and "tag your friends in this post to enter" are not permitted).

4. We will not assist you in the administration of your promotion, and you agree that if you use our service to administer your promotion, you do so at your own risk.

*To see the complete list of Facebook's Page Guidelines, click here.

We recommend bookmarking the Facebook Page Guidelines and checking in at least once a quarter to see what Facebook has been up to. Often they adjust their guidelines without notifying users. As always, ShortStack does our best to stay up-to-date on the latest changes and provide them to you as we know them.

About the author

By Dana Kilroy ・3 min read

Dana Sullivan Kilroy is a communications professional with more than 20 years of experience delivering compelling content. Her work has appeared in national, award-winning publications and sites, including: The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Fast Company, Inc.

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