Facebook Expands Promotions Options for Brands

Update Dec. 2: Facebook officially announces this change.

Facebook will now allow companies to administer certain promotions completely within the platform, instead of requiring users to exit the site to participate in contests, sweepstakes, and other promotions, Facebook news blogs AllFacebook and InsideFacebook posted Monday.

Although much of the Facebook Promotions Guidelines and Facebook Platform Policies are the same, the new changes make promotions more accessible to all brands that want to engage users.

Before, companies could only run promotions fully within Facebook if they had approval from Facebook. Contests and sweepstakes could be promoted on Facebook, but entry had to be completed on an outside site. Now, no prior approval from Facebook is necessary.

Before, to get approval from Facebook, there was a minimum ad spend involved in securing approval. Now, those restrictions have been lifted.

Until now, companies without robust ad budgets had to carefully plan around the Facebook guidelines, last updated in late 2009. This change means that more customers can interact with the creative promotions brands launch with third-party applications without disrupting the experience by leaving the platform. It will open doors for smaller companies to launch promotions via Facebook and take advantage of the positive impact and social pass-along that promotions like these can have.

Facebook still prohibits promotions that require profile photo editing, status updates to enter, and automatic contest entries after becoming a fan; but these updates open the world’s most popular social network to all companies, which will make the experience for fans better all around.

What do you think? How will these changes affect brands trying to engage customers on Facebook?