IP, Technology & Data

They say that IT law is a fast moving area.

A fortnight ago, I blogged about the strict rules that Facebook imposes on organisations when running competitions through its platform. Following a recent update to Facebook’s rules, that post is now out of date.

In summary, the old rules required organisations to only carry out promotions using a dedicated app. In particular, Facebook expressly prohibited running competitions that required users to “like” or “share” content or posts in order to enter.

With effect from last week, that’s all changed. Whilst organisations are still required to use the Pages function, not personal timelines, the requirement to have a dedicated app has gone – as has the prohibition on using “like and share.”

You can read more about the new rules in this update from Facebook.

Why the change? Facebook hopes that the update “will enable more businesses to use Facebook to launch their promotions”. Given the blatant disregard for the old rules, it’s not entirely clear how many businesses were being inhibited from running competitions on Facebook just because they didn’t have the skills (or budget) to develop a dedicated app.

How will this impact on the user experience? That remains to be seen. In the meantime, look forward to your timeline being clogged up by many, many, more “liked and shared” posts.

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Martin Sloan

Partner at Brodies LLP
Martin is a partner in Brodies Technology, Information and Outsourcing group and has wide experience of advising clients on technology procurement and IT and business process outsourcing projects. Martin also advises on data protection (including the GDPR), and general technology and intellectual property law, and has a particular interest in the laws applying to social media and new technology such as mobile apps, contactless/mobile payments, and smart metering.
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