Facebook Opens Floodgates for Branded Content

Facebook will soon be crowded with ads. The social media behemoth just made it much easier for publishers to release their editorial content that is really only advertising, but is designed often times to look as if it were not. This is known as branded content.

Previously, it was prohibited for publishers to push branded content in the majority of instances. Facebook rules read that advertising on pages and third party ads on pages were not allowed without prior permission.

Now, the latest update on Facebook means any verified Page is able to share any branded content its wants, as long as a few new rules by Facebook are followed.

First, they must know what brand contents is defined as by Facebook – any post that includes text, videos, photos, links, Instant Articles, Live videos, and 360 videos that specifically features or mentions a third-party brand, product or sponsor.

Typically, brand content is posted by celebrities, media companies or other types of influencers, said Facebook in a post.

Secondly, the administrators of the page must use the Branded Content tool from Facebook to tag the third party company or product they are highlighting contained in the content.

Facebook’s changes do not mean pages suddenly will become overrun with branded content.

Pages still must adhere to the rules that have been designed to prevent certain branded content that is too annoying to users of Facebook.

While the move by Facebook should be beneficial to the many different publishers relying on their branded content to earn revenue, the changes might also be a benefit to Facebook.

Facebook in theory will now have the ability to better differentiate between branded content and editorial content – since the publishers will have to tag the content instead of only sneaking it onto their pages without the knowledge of Facebook.

Facebook should be able to have better metrics for how the content performs in the New Feeds of users versus all other normal updates that are seen on the feed.

As for the user, it is a wait and see situation of how the move might affect Facebook’s content to advertising ratio on each person’s News Feed.

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David Glass

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