The 2014 Changes to Facebook’s Platform Policies

The big changes to Facebook’s platform policies in 2014 are about to take effect. The new Facebook Platform Policies mostly pertain to rules surrounding incentivizing users to like your Facebook Page. There are two main items to keep in mind moving forward.

The first change pertains to games that use a Facebook app ID. If your game includes in-app purchases you now have to explicitly state that in the app’s description. In the Spring of this year both Apple and Google added warnings about in-app purchases to the App Store and Google Play listings respectively. This brings Facebook to parity with the official stores for the different platforms.

The second change is aimed at some of the marketers’ favorite tricks to gain Facebook likes. This new policy can be summed up in one sentence from the document:

You must not incentivize people to use social plugins or to like a Page.

Facebook Pages aren’t allowed to make a Like something that is mandatory or is incentivized. Providing a “Like Gate,” or mandating that someone like your Facebook Page before displaying specific content, used to be an acceptable way to provide “exclusive” content to your community while also guaranteeing more Likes for your page.

The second change does more than solely prohibit Like gates. It changes how contests on Facebook can be run. Contests can no longer be behind a Like gate, but they also cannot mandate that people who enter Like the Facebook Page running the contest. Games can no longer incentivize users to Like the Facebook Page of the game.

Sociality Squared recommends that you take a look at your Facebook Pages and strategies before November 6 to ensure that you are following the Facebook Platform Policies. If you currently incentivize people for liking your Facebook Page, immediately stop and reevaluate your strategy. If you have upcoming contests, you should double check the entry mechanisms. If you have a legal team that drafts your contest rules you should make them aware of Facebook’s policy changes. If you haven’t read the Facebook Platform Policies you should take a look. It gives an overview of everything Facebook encourages and discourages in plain English.


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