*READ THIS* The contents of this article, written in 2014, could be outdated. Check out our Facebook Promotion Guidelines page for current info.
Back in early August, Facebook announced several updates on their developer blog including an update to their platform policy that affects third-party apps built on their platform. If you haven’t already, read Facebook’s official blog about the changes and the following discussion here.
We blogged in-depth about these Facebook platform policy updates in a previous post where we discussed what these updates meant, how they’ll affect Rafflecopter, why the changes were being put into place, and what to expect moving forward (Update 11/15 – read about recent updates pertaining to fan-gating here). We’d like to take this time and discuss how these updates will affect Facebook & Rafflecopter alike, and more importantly give you a timeline in which changes to our app will be implemented so you can plan your holiday promotions accordingly.
What’s Changing About Facebook
While we discussed the changes that Facebook will be making in our last blog post about this subject, let’s quickly highlight the updates that Facebook have put into place. The biggest change to the platform policy that we’ll focus on are updates surrounding the ability to incentivize people using social plugins to like a page.
Facebook’s blog post reads:
You must not incentivize people to use social plugins or to like a Page. This includes offering rewards, or gating apps or app content based on whether or not a person has liked a Page. It remains acceptable to incentivize people to login to your app, checkin at a place or enter a promotion on your app’s Page. To ensure quality connections and help businesses reach the people who matter to them, we want people to like Pages because they want to connect and hear from the business, not because of artificial incentives. We believe this update will benefit people and advertisers alike.
To describe what this means, we’ll use our Facebook giveaway app as an example. Right now, when you run a giveaway on Facebook with our app, you’ll install our app to your page, which will place the Rafflecopter widget on a fan-gated page. That means if you’re a fan of the page where the giveaway is, you’ll be able to see the giveaway widget instantly. If you’re not a fan, our app will show an image that asks you to ‘like’ the page to access the giveaway.
As a third-party developer, Facebook gives us a toolbox that makes it possible for us to build an app on their platform. In order to build the fan-gate functionality in our app, one of the tools they give us access to makes it possible for us to serve the fan-gate to folks that aren’t a fan of your Facebook page yet. On November 5th, Facebook is taking this ability out of their toolbox for all developers, so even if we wanted to fan-gate our app, there wouldn’t be any way to tell who is a fan of your page and who isn’t.
What’s Changing About Rafflecopter
With these new rules in place, there will be two changes to the Rafflecopter platform: the Facebook giveaway app’s fan-gate will be removed and the “Like a Facebook page” entry option will be phased out.
Removing the fan-gate image
The first thing that will change is the fan-gate on our Facebook app. You’ll still be able to run giveaways on Facebook, but the fan-gate feature will be removed. Because of that, both fans and non-fans will be able to access your giveaway when it’s installed to your Facebook page.
On November 5th, these changes to the Facebook platform will take place. As such, starting on 11/5, the ability to have a fan-gate on your Rafflecopter Facebook giveaway will be removed. If you’re running a giveaway that lasts through November 15th, the fan-gate will remain active through 11/5. On 11/6, the giveaway will continue to run normally, but the fan-gate will disappear. Non-fans will be able to access your giveaway the same way as your fans will be able to.
Removing the “Like a Facebook page” entry option
Second, the ‘Like a Facebook page’ entry option will be removed as well. According to Facebook’s new policies, this would fall under the rule of “incentivizing people to use social plugins or to like a Page”.
Starting on 11/5, the ability to add a “Like a Facebook page” entry option on any new promotion will be removed. However, if you’re running a giveaway that was created before November 5th that lasts through November 15th for example, the entry option will remain active through the end of the promotion.
*Psst* A Call for Beta Testers!
With that said, we’ll be releasing some updates to the Rafflecopter platform in the near future and are looking for a handful of beta testers that might be interested in getting a first peek at our new offerings. If you run giveaways with our platform and are interested in helping us out, we’d love to hear from you! Fill out the form here and perhaps we’ll be in touch :)
If you have any questions about the way these updates will be rolled out, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below this post! If you’d prefer to contact us directly, you’re also welcome to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org as well.