Facebook Lifts Branded Content Policy Restrictions

On April 8, Facebook released an update to their advertising policy that allows  verified publishers - including but not limited to media companies, entertainers, and influencers - to share any third-party branded content post to their page. This new policy update is designed to provide marketers with tools that will help them improve their overall impressions, website traffic, and revenue beyond the standard KPI benchmarks previously available on Facebook.

Facebook defines branded content as any post – including text, photos, videos, Instant Articles, links, 360 videos and Live videos – from media companies, celebrities or other influencers that features a third party product, brand or sponsor. In the past, paid-for branded content could not be distributed organically on Facebook. According to the company, the recent policy change to allow for organic distribution is one that “media companies, public figures, influencers, and marketers have been asking for, as branded content is a growing and evolving part of the media landscape.”

Alongside the new policy update, Facebook created the branded content tool. This new tool allows publishers to tag marketers in branded content posts. For example, Intel (the marketer) partnered with Lady Gaga (the publisher) to promote the brand’s innovative technologies available for entertainers and producers in the live music industry.

Image credit: VentureBeat, Lady Gaga

Benefits of the Branded Content Tool

  • It’s accessible in Page Manager, Ads Manager, and Power Editor.
  • Publishers can tag marketers in one simple step.
  • Automated notifications are sent directly to the marketer when a publisher tags their page.
  • Both the marketer and publisher can access high-level post insights such as reach, engagement, spend, and CPMs.
  • The marketer can leverage their branded content posts as standard Facebook ads via both dark and boosted posts.

Marketers who want to share branded content must partner with a verified publisher. Once connected, marketers and publishers can work together to develop the type of post and content they want to create. This allows for more visibility and control over the marketing efforts on Facebook. However, marketers and publishers will always be responsible for knowing and understanding their legal obligations for any content that they post. For additional information on the policy updates, visit the Branded Content Policy page at Facebook online.

Branded Content Restrictions

Although the updated policy is a relief to many marketers, there are still some restrictions on the types of branded content Facebook allows. For example, the following types of content cannot feature any third-party product, service, or logo:

  • Banner ads within photos
  • Graphical overlay and watermarks
  • Pre, mid, or post roll ads
  • Profile pictures
  • Cover photos

While marketers will benefit from additional promotional reach and access to high-level performance data, publishers will benefit from the opportunity to sell their own Facebook reach in partnership with third-party marketers. Though there are still some restrictions on branded content, the new policy is a step forward for publishers and marketers who hope to maximize the potential of the highly lucrative online market Facebook has to offer.