Facebook opens up promotions policy; third-party apps no longer required

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Another step in its simplification process, Facebook is making it easier for pages to run promotions or contests, by removing the requirement to go through a third-party app. Facebook page admins can now create a promotion directly through the site and in apps, if the company so chooses.

Businesses can now collect entries by having user post on the brand’s page, comment or like a certain post, or by having users send a message to the page. Likes can now be used as a voting mechanism. Companies still can’t administer promotions on personal timelines, however.

Facebook also warns pages not to abuse the tagging feature.

Facebook noted, as an example, that it’s legal to ask fans to submit names of a new product in exchange for a chance to win a prize, but it’s not legal to ask fans to tag themselves in photos for the chance to win something.

A Facebook spokesperson commented on the new rules in an email:

This capability makes it even easier for smaller businesses to help build awareness for a new product, promote the opening of a new location, sell inventory, or advance other business objectives. Say, for instance, a local pizza parlor wants to give away free pizza for a month to the 100th person to like their post. Now the business can do this right on their Page (and increase awareness of the post via Promoted Posts) without needing to work with a third-party to build an app.

ShortStack CEO Jim Belosic likes the changes:

Today’s change will be helpful for small business owners, making it easier for them to host promotions. Is this the end of apps? No … because when you have a large following, getting Facebook likes and comments is only the first step. Savvy marketers know that the real work is done when you collect and leverage data for ongoing promotions and marketing efforts and apps make that possible.

Readers: How do you feel?

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