*READ THIS* The contents of this article, written in 2014, could be outdated. Check out our Facebook Promotion Guidelines page for current info pertaining to sweepstakes on Facebook.
The day has arrived! 90 days ago, Facebook released a post stating that starting November 5th, apps that allowed for fan-gating content and incentivizing people to like your page would no longer be allowed. We’ve written a few blog posts on the subject, so if this is news to you, check out the following posts to catch up to speed:
In this post, we’ll discuss several changes you’ll encounter to the Rafflecopter platform over the next several days, a timeline of when to expect those changes, and some other FAQs we’ve received over the past three months.
Three Rafflecopter Updates Coming Your Way
The first update is that all fan-gates / like-gates will be removed from our Facebook app. If you’re running a giveaway on Facebook using the Rafflecopter Facebook app, the fan-gating functionality of the app will disappear.
The second update you should be aware of is the ‘Liking a Fan Page’ entry option will be disappearing. Below is an example screenshot of the ‘Like a Fan Page’ entry option:
The ‘Visit a Facebook Fan Page’ entry option
The third update we’re implementing is a ‘Visit a Facebook fan page’ entry option. This entry option can be seen as a fan-gate alternative & will in many ways act as a replacement to the ‘Liking a fan page’ entry option. To get an idea of what this will look like, here’s a screenshot of what this entry option will look like in the giveaway widget:
When you enter a giveaway with this entry option, you’ll only be able to complete the entry only once the specified Facebook page is visited. Once the ‘visit us’ button is clicked, you’re able to complete the entry. To stay within all Facebook guidelines, entrants aren’t incentivized to like your page (though they are encouraged to like and comment!).
This entry option is set up to help bring more attention to your Facebook page. It’s an exciting update that we think will help boost authentic interaction with your page.
Timeline of Implementing Updates
These three updates listed above will be put into place in the evening of Wednesday, November 5th between 9pm and midnight EST. Once they’re updated, the fan-gate from our Facebook app will be removed for all giveaways despite when the promotion started or how far along it is. This is something set in place by Facebook that’s out of our control.
The ‘Like a Fan Page’ will be turned off at the same moment the ‘Visit a Facebook Fan Page’ will be activated. One entry option will be swapped with the other. Again, you can expect this to happen in the evening of 11/5.
All giveaways that started before 11/5 that used the ‘Like a Fan Page’ entry option will be allowed to have that entry option until the giveaway is over. Starting 11/5, no giveaways will be able to be created with the ‘Like a Fan Page’ entry option.
Questions Surrounding These Updates
We’ve received several questions over the past two to three weeks that we thought it would be a good idea to share with you. Of course if you have additional questions, feel free to comment below!
Q: Has Rafflecopter been in direct contact with Facebook over these updates?
We haven’t been in touch with Facebook. There are plenty of apps built on the Facebook platform that these updates affect, and we’re just one of many. We’ve been in touch with Facebook’s team in the past concerning promotion guidelines in 2012 and again in 2013, but this update to their platform has been fairly straightforward.
Q: If I have a giveaway running w/ the ‘Like a Fan Page’ entry option past 11/5, will Facebook shut down my page?
No. It’s not in Facebook’s best interests to just start shutting down pages, especially because of a promotion guideline infraction. It’s been rarely documented that Facebook shuts down pages for breaking their promotion guidelines (hence why you still might see a lot of giveaways that still incentivize entrants to share a post, even though that hasn’t been allowed for years). It’s a touchy subject — you wouldn’t expect Facebook to aggressively go after page owners.
Q: So Facebook won’t come after me?
If Facebook were to have a problem with the way the platform policy updates were interpreted and implemented by us in the Rafflecopter app, they’d email us first before emailing the folks using the app for their page. If they were to email us, we’d work with them to see that our giveaway widget is brought within their guidelines as they have done in previous years.
Any other questions or concerns you have for us that might have been left out? Feel free to leave a comment below!