In an about-face, Facebook announced it is doing away with the requirement that contest and promotions be run through apps.
Up to now, page administrators were required to run all promotions through an app. However, “illegal” contests run from page timelines were fairly rampant. Starting today, page administrators can opt to run a promotion from their page, from an app, or by using both.
The following practices, once banned per Facebook’s Page Terms, are now permitted:
Collect entries by having users post on the Page or comment/like a Page post
Collect entries by having users message the Page
Utilize likes as a voting mechanism
The Page Terms have been updated to prohibit page administrators from tagging or encouraging people to tag themselves in pictures they aren’t actually in. For example, a business could ask users to submit names of a new product, but they cannot ask users to tag themselves in pictures of a new product as part of a contest entry.
With this update, businesses can now use Promoted Posts or ads for Page posts to get the word out about their promotions. Facebook, of course, hopes this will contribute to the site’s advertising revenue in a way that the reliance on apps did not.
It’s not clear how this will affect the array of apps such as Voitigo, Woobox, Offerpop and Google-owned Wildfire, to name just a few, that have sprung up in recent years to support Facebook promotions. Running promotions through apps will continue to provide more design and branding control, and user data and submissions are captured in a secure fashion. Companies already using apps, particularly larger brands, may choose to stick with the control they offer.
While those who’ve been reluctant to use apps — or simply ran unsanctioned contests from their pages — will probably opt for page administered promotions. It’s particularly appealing for running quick promotions and for companies without a lot of design resources. Page posts with promotions are eligible to display in News Feeds of those who like the page.