Incentivized Invites No Longer Allowed on the Facebook Platform

Facebook’s recent policy update prohibiting incentivized invites, originally announced on July 21, has now gone into effect.

The latest announcement takes Facebook’s February policy update forbidding forced invites further by no longer permitting applications to offer incentives to users for sending invitations to their friends. For example, in game apps where the aim is to accumulate gold, developers have introduced mechanisms whereby users are given more gold for each friend they invite. In other applications, developers have only allowed users to unlocks various features as they invite more friends. Both of these behaviors are now prohibited.

Application developers have been asking for more detail on the Platform Policy in the Developers Forum, and the Facebook Platform team has offered valuable clarifications in responses there. Specifically:

  • Facebook says that incentivized invites fall within this policy, but actions within an application do not: “Incentivizing sending a notification is prohibited, but incentivizing an app action (like SuperPoking) is not banned (even if that action typically leads to a subsequent notification).  On the other hand, if an app provides bonus points for inviting friends, or just for sending notifications, that would be a violation.”
  • Yesterday, the platform team issued this further explanation: “As noted in the blog post, the new policies prevent applications from creating artificial or inappropriate incentives to use Facebook features (including, for example, sending requests and adding profile boxes). Generally, awarding money, or bonus points that can be used to do things in the application or elsewhere, for sending invitations or for the acceptance of invitations, falls under the intended scope of what is prohibited by the policies.”

This new policy isn’t necessarily bad news for developers as some may expect. Facebook is continuing its efforts to improve the quality of messages that applications generate within Facebook communication channels, which should improve the conversion rates of app messages throughout the Platform as a whole.

Kristian Segerstråle, CEO of social gaming company Playfish, welcomes the new guidelines. “We think these changes are an important step forward to improve the overall user experience for games on Facebook and ultimately make the social games market grow faster. We are active supporters of Facebook’s new guiding principles for apps and are working through all our games to ensure we adhere to their spirit,” he told us.

We’ll be staying on top of any further guidance or clarification Facebook issues as it enforces these new policies.

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Leave a Reply

11 Responses to “Incentivized Invites No Longer Allowed on the Facebook Platform”

  1. Chris says:

    Why is this the policy now?

  2. Dennis says:

    the invites are only done by people who are playing the games, so i dont understand what the problem is ! kinda taking a big part of the game out which in turn is gonna turn people off to the games !! not a smart move on this one !

  3. Andrew Fontana says:

    I find the whole thing hypocritical. Facebook continually encourages me to invite people I don’t know to be my friend and of course always wants us to invite new users as well.. But when apps within facebook try to do the same thing they get penalised. I agree that some apps take it overboard but put out blanket bans on all apps is just lazy and inappropriate.

    And whatever they say it does destroy the effectiveness of some apps. One app I play regularly has almost ground to a halt because of the automatic restrictions that Facebook continues to apply and which the developer isn’t around enough to counter.

    We’re all adults here and we are quite capable of using the ‘block this application’ feature to stop endless unwanted invites so give it up and treat us like adults.


  4. Minhaj says:

    bonus and incentives were the only reasons for me to send friend invites in the blood games.But now i am going to piss off all the fucken games.

  5. Cloud says:

    Yea With this BS lots of games are going to die. the blood games have already suffered big… I mean the only people that get the incentive are the people who play and they only invite there friends. So I think Facebook is going to be getting some money from the points that people will now buy and thats why they did this.

  6. costas says:

    i dont understand…people do choose to whom they will send the invitations and add to that anyone who wont like the type of the invitation always has the right to ignore it so why make a rule for things that dont need it ?

  7. WY says:

    I see some apps still giving incentives (like cash) for inviting friends. So is there a team enforcing it thoroughly or is it through snitches only?

  8. Admilson says:

    The only reasonable explanation that i can see about this policy is that facebook just wanted to make more profits through this policy.They just didn’t care if it’s gonna be less excitement for the user.

  9. skin says:

    oh common that’s just unreasonable for user like me.
    this new policy means i’m not gonna add new friends on my facebook account.
    facebook is no fun anymore!

  10. paul says:

    this is a money making scam by facebook i need 20 elder points 2 progress in elvin blood and the blood bar was the only way 2 get them free now i have 2 pay for them or fill in a couple of stuped offers which trys 2 rip you off am well p*s*ed off

  11. An In-depth Look: Mob Wars says:

    [...] to Facebook prohibiting incentivized invites, Mob Wars was able to offer users rewards such as (virtual) cash, health and energy for inviting [...]

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