Posted August 27, 2013 4:20 pm by with 3 comments

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new promoFacebook made a small announcement today that is actually a huge, positive change for any business with a Facebook Page. They removed the partner app requirement for running a promotion (aka contest or giveaway) on your page.

If that statement confuses you, I’m not surprised. I’ve worked on social media campaigns with dozens of businesses over the years and they all assumed you could just post a contest on Facebook if you wanted to. Sorry no. In order to keep the place from becoming a spammy, free-for-all, you had to use a third party such as ShortStack or Woobox to run a promo. And, unless you were a very small business, you had to pay a monthly fee for the privileged.

I’m sure Facebook also used the rule as a way of staying out of legal trouble. Depending on your state, there are a variety of regulations you have to adhere to if you’re running a contest (which most people ignore but that’s the internet for you). By forcing all promos to run through a third-party, Facebook removed themselves from the middle of any potential legal trouble.

The main reason Facebook enforced the third party rule was to keep business’ from “buying” likes with the promise of a prize.

New Rules

Now, Facebook has decided that we’re all old enough to handle the responsibility, so they’ve removed the app requirement but there are still a few rules you must follow:
Now, promotions may be administered on Page Timelines and in apps on Facebook.
For example, businesses can now:

  • 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

As before, however, businesses cannot administer promotions on personal Timelines.

Accurate tagging is required in promotions

In order to maintain the accuracy of Page content, our Pages Terms now prohibit Pages from tagging or encouraging people to tag themselves in content that they are not actually depicted in. So, for instance:

  • It’s OK to ask people to submit names of a new product in exchange for a chance to win a prize
  • It’s not OK to ask people tag themselves in pictures of a new product in exchange for a chance to win a prize

This is great news, folks. Giveaways and contests are excellent methods for bringing traffic not only to your Facebook Page but then on to your website as well. Just remember to follow the new rules.

Finally, to ShortStack and Woobox and all the companies I’ve used to run Facebook giveaways – farewell and I hope this change doesn’t do too much damage to your business model. I hate to see other businesses thrive at the expense of another.


  • Alex Shamy

    I wouldn’t dismiss 3rd party apps just yet! How do plan to track your contests, pick the winner and actually get a LEAD from the comment or like that you receive. Still a need for contest management on Facebook via 3rd parties.

  • cane

    Do these rules apply to artist pages?

  • I only just saw this post, and though I’m 2 months late to the news it’s great to know that I can use some of the facebook features for my promotions!

    Though 3rd party apps are useful for tracking and managing a contest, I think people are more likely to engage in the contest if all they need to do is Like or Share a post.