If you haven’t heard already Facebook has changed its Page Guidelines, to allow promotions or contests to be run on your Facebook page. However there are still a few exceptions such as tagging restrictions and you must manage and take full liability for running your contest.
From this announcement you might think that contest providers have just lost all their business. This is far from the case and is actually a great boost in some respects to the promotion industry. Jan Wong details out some great reasons why in The Death of Facebook Promotional Apps?
Facebook has originally restricted all contests most likely due to legal complications and people using contests to game the Facebook edge rank algorithm. Why now has it chosen to back flip on this due to the immense abuse and like gaming tactics that can now come into effect?
There is no official word as to why as yet but I can speculate.
First lets consider their other recent moves
The collaborative album feature they added. This feature itself does actually kill many start-ups and it was a move to ensure Facebook was the centre of everyone’s attention when it comes to photos.
It purchased Instagram for $1 billion dollars over 1 year ago, a huge photo and now video sharing app.
It now allows contests on page timelines.
What would allowing a contest on timelines have to do with their other moves? Well if you have to run a contest through a 3rd party app, where are all the photos, videos and content going? It is directly to that third party app in which Facebook never gets this content. To me this looks like a grab at ensuring Facebook gets more content at a time when Snap Chat is scooping up the younger generation and other networks like Pinterest, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn continue to grow, some at impressive rates.
Facebook is no longer the powerhouse you have to obey for social media. You can now be successful on social media without Facebook and they know it.
I might expect more leniency from Facebook in the future as it aims to keep people on its network.
They could have also done it to annoy Wildfire, now owned by Google, however Wildfire moved away from smaller accounts a long time ago and they are the market that will most move away from paid contest apps to doing it directly on the timeline. For contest providers that have a large user base on low cost accounts, I think they may have something to worry about. For larger companies who are more serious about contests, apps will always be the best option and now with the reduced restrictions, it opens up a whole new array of features contest apps can provide.
How will you be approaching contests from now on?