Over the last two years, there has been a surge in the number of pages using Facebook’s Branded Content tool.
It was originally introduced to help brands and pages tag each other in content which they paid, or had been paid to promote.
However, this led to a large amount of publishers paying to promote their content via Facebook through pages which had nothing to do with the creation of the content. If you follow people like George Takei on Facebook and wonder why he constantly shares random articles – this is why. He was being paid to promote a range of content that had literally nothing to do with him or his page.
For those of you that haven’t come across it yet, when you post to your page, there is an option to tag another brand or page in the post to credit them as the creators of the content, or acknowledge their input into the creation of the content.
You need to request access to the Branded Content tool if you don’t already see this option when creating a new post.
Some publishers had built their entire business model on this Branded Content policy of Facebook’s, but this all appears to have come crashing down in early 2018.
In February, Facebook announced significant changes to the way pages and publishers are allowed to use the Branded Content tool.
Instead of allowing anyone to use it, Facebook have updated their Branded Content policy to state that only those who have created the content, or been directly involved in contributing to or creating the content can be tagged with this tool.
This is to stop people sharing content purely because they have been paid to do so.
You’re also not allowed to include any ads in your videos or audio content, either before, during or after the video or audio. No banner ads are allowed either.
In addition to this, you’ll need the consent of the brand you are tagging before you tag them using the Branded Content tool.
Facebook also states you cannot “accept anything of value to post content that you did not create or were not involved in the creation of, or that does not feature you.” This means that they’re not just talking about receiving monetary payments. Other forms of payment such as gifts, tickets, vouchers, etc. cannot be recieved in exchange for using the Branded Content tool.
If you are found violating this policy, Facebook may limit or eliminate your access to all Facebook monetization tools, including running your posts as ads.
You can read Facebook’s Branded Content Policy in full online here.
Basically, if you didn’t create it, or have a hand in creating it, don’t use the Branded Content tool. Especially if someone offers to pay you to use it!