If you take money or product from an advertiser in exchange for putting a message out via your Facebook status then you’re breaking the new Terms and Conditions.
Here’s the relevant section in full.
4. Registration and Account Security
Facebook users provide their real names and information, and we need your help to keep it that way. Here are some commitments you make to us relating to registering and maintaining the security of your account:
1. You will not provide any false personal information on Facebook, or create an account for anyone other than yourself without permission.
2. You will not use your personal profile for your own commercial gain (such as selling your status update to an advertiser).
3. You will not use Facebook if you are under 13.
4. You will not use Facebook if you are a convicted sex offender.
5. You will keep your contact information accurate and up-to-date.
6. You will not share your password, let anyone else access your account, or do anything else that might jeopardize the security of your account.
7. You will not transfer your account to anyone without first getting our written permission.
8. If you select a username for your account we reserve the right to remove or reclaim it if we believe appropriate (such as when a trademark owner complains about a username that does not closely relate to a user’s actual name).
So, if you’re under 13 then please go away. If you’re a sex offender then you’re not welcome. Both these rules make sense.
The other identification rules around Facebook are partly there to ensure the integrity of the site’s data, stop impersonation (and the scares and bad PR that comes with that).
It’s section two that stands out. “You will not use your personal profile for your own commercial gain (such as selling your status update to an advertiser).”
This, I think, could teach Twitter a thing or two who have done little to discourage this form of advertising.
Just a few weeks back we blogged that Full Disclosure Is International and Not Fair and we’re pleased to see that Facebook offered these new rules out in more than just English. The other ‘tweak’ they did today was to remind people that if you’re from a country embargoed by the Americans then you shouldn’t be on Facebook.
Rather than worrying what would be “fair” to advertising platforms like Izea. Facebook has simply said it’s not allowed.
Facebook, unlike Twitter, has many choices for advertisers who wish to put their message out. The basic fan page is free. Social ads to support that fan page can be extremely well targeted and as cheap as chips (but may fail to drive any traffic). For example, you may just pay a few pence for a Facebook click to your fan page and that compares very well to the $12 CPM that Patricio Robles calculated Kmart would have paid for a tweet from @shoemoney.
Fun questions remain – how many online PR or social media companies in the UK do you think are currently paying for ‘status updates’? How many do you think will stop because of this?
What counts as “use your personal profile for your own commercial gain” anyway? Updating your status with new blog post URLs where your blog has ads? Plugging a conference or gig you’re running?