Sweepstakes and Contests Now Easier To Run on Facebook

Yesterday (Aug. 27, 2013) Facebook updated the section of its Pages Terms applicable to administering sweepstakes and contests on Facebook (see HERE and HERE).  In essence, Facebook removed almost all of the prior restrictions they imposed.  For example, companies no longer have to run their sweepstakes or contests via an app, nor are they prohibited from using native Facebook functionality as an entry mechanism.  Entry by posting on a Page, liking a Page post or sending messages to a Page are all now okay.  Similarly, using likes as a voting mechanism is now approved.  Asking people to post on their own timeline for an entry in a promotion remains prohibited.  Companies are still required to ensure that their promotions comply with laws and include a release of Facebook in the rules for the promotion and state that Facebook is not a sponsor or affiliated with the promotion, although Facebook no longer requires sponsors to disclose that the information collected in the promotion is collected by the sponsor and not Facebook.
Note that running a sweepstakes or contest via an app is still acceptable on Facebook, it is just no longer a requirement.  One initial thing to consider is that, without an app, sponsors may not get the benefit of requiring a clickwrap agreement to the official rules for the promotion nor is there as clear of a way to disclose that the sponsor's privacy policy applies -- these are important elements for sponsors to consider.  Likewise, marketers will need to think through how they will compile entries for purposes of conducting the random drawing for a sweepstakes when, for example, all the entires are submitted as a comment to a Page post.  We trust that this development will keep marketers noodling on all the various ways sweepstakes and contests can now be administered on Facebook and we are here to help.