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Facebook Updated Its Branded Content Policy. Here’s What It Means

It's been well over a year since Facebook loosened up its restrictions on which Pages can share branded content. In 2016, verified Pages of brands, influencers, and publishers were able to enter into partnerships on sponsored and unsponsored posts you've seen pop up in the News Feed:


An example of what a boosted branded content post looks like, from Facebook.

Branded content has become popular among publishers and brands alike, with some media companies reporting a 4.4 times higher engagement rate on branded content than what's average for Facebook. The platform is now providing more detail on what qualifies as branded content both on Facebook and Instagram. The changes come hot on the heels of enhanced quality content protections pushed live in late 2017, and the sweeping algorithm change favoring family and friends announced early in 2018.

The most significant change to Facebook's branded content policy is that it will not accept paid branded content unless both partners had a role in the creation process. Specifically, the policy says, "Don't 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."

For example, if you run a fitness Page and post sponsored content for a brand like Gold's Gym, it would be acceptable to do so if:

  1. Your Page/publication created content FOR Gold's Gym. (E.g., wrote an article, filmed a video.)
  2. If the content comes from Gold's Gym directly, it MUST feature your Page/publication in some way. (I.e., a contest or offer for fans of that specific fitness Page.)

Gold's Gym cannot simply provide generic content to distribute to your Page's audience as an ad.

As a litmus test, ask yourself if what you're posting is original content made specifically for a relationship between your Page/publication and another brand. If it's not original in some way, chances are it's going to be flagged as an abuse of the policy.

It can be a bit confusing. Facebook provided more details on what qualifies as branded content after the original policy announcement. The policy update is an extension of Facebook's continuing efforts to end links to third-party pages with overbearing ads or dishonest content using clickbait methods. Even if you're publishing quality content, it's important to label it correctly. Here's a table to double check what your content may be identified as:

From Facebook.

Here is an example of what the branded content label looks like:

Image from Facebook.

Be sure to always include the branded content tag when it's applicable. Here's a step-by-step tutorial on how to use it. Be sure to always clearly mark the details of your partnership within the article your Facebook post links out to as well. Here's an example from Entrepreneur magazine:

The platform will be able to take note of these violations via a system that can differentiate a creator's post from an unaffiliated publisher that features the brand, but not the creator. If publishers or creators have repeat violations, the platform could restrict their access to monetization tools, including the branded content label. The platform could also require the brand to run the content as an ad to track its performance, according to Marketing Land. If publishers and creators are not careful about labeling their content correctly and following the new guidelines, their page boosts and promotions could be in danger of being blocked. Pages have been entirely blocked and banned from the platform for policy violations in the past.

The change is set to go into effect in March 2018.

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How to Setup Google Search Console ​

Google Search Console is a free tool that helps you to understand and optimize your site's performance on Google's search results. When Google visits your website for tracking purposes, it performs what's called crawling and indexing, a process of adding webpages into its search results.

The console will allow you to add or remove certain content from Google's search results. The tool will also help you learn which keywords trigger your site to appear in Google's ranking, and which third-party sites are linking to yours. It also allows you to monitor your site's performance on search, including locating any errors on your pages. Here is a step-by-step guide for adding a Google Search Console to your RebelMouse website.

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NEW: Important Upgrade to Facebook's Share Feature

There's an exciting new feature live on all RebelMouse sites that makes every Facebook share more customizable. This key update allows you to edit the meta information of a Facebook post before and after publish, making it easier to manage how your content appears on the platform.

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How to Add Google Forms to a Static Page

The easiest way to add forms to your RebelMouse site is to use Google Forms, which embeds right into the code of your page. Here's a step-by-step guide.

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Create a Winning SEO Strategy with Related Articles

One of the staples of our Entry Editor is the ability to optimize your article for search while it's still in draft mode. You can customize the SEO headline, description, and even the URL slug of each post before it's published.

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