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Facebook Updates “Branded Content Policy”

Over the last several years, the use of social media as a vehicle for advertising has grown exponentially.  As discussed in prior blog posts, examples of which you can find here and here, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has released guidelines pertaining to such paid social media posts, requiring that any material connections between advertisers/brands and those social media users posting the content is clearly and conspicuously disclosed.    

On January 25, 2018, Facebook again updated its Branded Content Policy (also applicable to Instagram) (the “Branded Content Policy”). The Branded Content Policy defines “branded content” broadly as “a creator or publisher’s content that features or is influenced by a business partner for an exchange of value.”

Prior to this update, the Branded Content Policy already required Instagram accounts or profiles and Facebook Pages to use the branded content tool when posting branded content.  The branded content tool allows the user to “tag” the brand they are working with, in addition to having a “Paid” or “Sponsored” label added to the post.  This most recent update places an addition burden on Facebook and Instagram users, precluding them from accepting anything of value that the users did not create or were not involved in the creation of, or that does not feature the user.

Takeaway:  As Facebook continues to update its policies in an effort to regulate the dissemination of such content on its platforms, both Facebook and Instagram users in the business of posting branded content should stay abreast of these changes to ensure compliance.

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