Facebook platform update: ad image policy, age requirements, developer alerts

platformFacebook reminded developers about its latest ad policy change and introduced new features related to gating age-sensitive content in apps and controlling alerts from the social network, according to the company’s developer blog.

Ad Image Policy - Last week Facebook implemented a new ad policy that limits text overlay to 20 percent of an image’s area for all ads in News Feed. This includes mobile app install ads, which developers use to drive downloads. Previously, Facebook restricted the use of ”calls to action” and “price and purchase information” in photos because it wanted to prevent advertisers from sharing images that looked like traditional banner ads. The policy was vague and not always followed or enforced. We’ve heard Facebook is developing a grid-based text overlay detection tool to identify non-compliant images.

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Age Requirements - Facebook announced a new way for mobile and web developers to restrict content to users over a certain age. Developers can now use the age_range field to gate sensitive content within mobile apps and websites. Apps on Facebook.com have had this option, but it wasn’t previously available via the Graph API. Some websites and mobile apps tried requesting users’ birthdays in order to verify their age, but requesting this permission can hurt install rates. Now, any app can use the age_range field instead.

Developer Alerts - Facebook has improved its “developer contact settings” section so that developers can configure their alerts. In November 2012, the social network announced Developer Alerts as a way to notify developers about important changes to the platform and the status of their apps via email and Facebook notifications. Now, developers can decide which types of alerts Facebook can send and through which channels so they are not overloaded with messages.

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