Writing about Facebook’s recent changes in contests is an interesting topic, given that I’ve seen multiple violations daily since the beginning of time. Ok, well, at least since Facebook clearly defined their previous rules and made many restrictions that so many fan page administrators ignored anyway. In many cases, I think people build fan pages not even aware that Facebook has rules and reserves the right to remove their page if they violate them. It’s likely not even an issue for most people until their page disappears one day.
The news of Facebook changing their contest rules, yet again, was well received by those who new about the restrictions in the first place. For years, Facebook forced businesses to use third party apps to run contests and giveaways on their fan pages, essentially making the process a bit more complicated and in some cases, more expensive. I guess it was just a matter of time before Facebook realized it was nearly impossible to police all the contests held on Facebook, and simply resigned to the fact that asking fans to use the Facebook the “like” or “comment” feature is a popular/preferred tactic of engagement.
You are now free to run contests or giveaways on your page using the built-in features on Facebook without the fear of repercussions. You can not ask fans to tag themselves in photos they’re not depicted in, but that’s simple enough. For larger promotions and in cases where you want to collect/manage submission data, using a well-designed third party app is still a good idea.
In addition, the cover image rules are no longer in effect either, in case you are wondering. As of July 2013 the last remaining restrictions pertaining to cover images were lifted, giving businesses the chance to design engaging images however they see fit. There are still some minimal rules such as don’t be “misleading” and other common sense items.