Facebook News: Branded Content, Monetization & More

It’s been a busy month for Facebook. We can hardly keep up with all the news and rumors about the platform’s updates and upcoming developments.

In case you missed them, here are a few stories that could have a positive impact on marketers and influencers.

Branded Content

Until earlier this month, Facebook prohibited marketers, media companies, public figures or influencers from posting branded content on their Pages, unless it was part of a paid Facebook ad campaign. It defines branded content as “any post — including text, photos, videos, Instant Articles, links, 360 videos, and Live videos — that specifically mentions or features a third party product, brand, or sponsor.”

But the platform just updated its policy to allow verified Pages to share branded content.

Facebook said in a blog post:

This update is something that media companies, public figures, influencers, and marketers have been asking for, as branded content is a growing and evolving part of the media landscape. People will now be connected to more of the content they care most about on Facebook as publishers and influencers gain an incentive to share more quality content — of all kinds — with their fans.

Publishers and influencers must use Facebook’s branded content tool to tag marketers and make the sponsorship clear to users. This tag can be added to:

photos, videos, links, text, Instant Articles, and 360 videos at launch. Live videos aren’t supported at launch but will be soon.

Monetizing Posts  

Facebook seems to be exploring new monetization possibilities for individual users, according to a writer from The Verge, who received a user survey hinting at some of these ideas.

Right now, Facebook doesn’t offer individuals a way to earn money through posts. But publishers of all sizes are allowed to sell advertising within Facebook’s Instant Articles feature, and as we discussed earlier, branded content is now available to verified Pages.

The Verge’s Casey Newton writes:

A user survey distributed this week hints at a broad range of ways that users could make money or promote a cause, including a tip jar, branded content, and taking a cut of the ad revenue Facebook earns from posts. The survey also asked users to indicate their interest in a “call to action” button, a way to let followers make donations, and a “sponsor marketplace” to match users with advertisers. It’s unclear whether Facebook is considering making these options available to all users; the language of the survey indicated it is targeted at verified users.

If Facebook does enable more of these features, it’s a sign that branded content and influencer marketing will continue to flourish on the platform.

Change to the 20% Rule for Ads

A longstanding rule on Facebook was that ads could contain images with no more than 20% text. The idea was to protect the user experience, so no one would have to endure news feeds full of text-heavy ads. But the rule was a pain for marketers who struggled to get their message across without exceeding the text limit.

Facebook has just confirmed that it has amended the 20% rule. Now marketers can use any image for an ad, no matter how much text is on it, but the more text you use, the less reach your ad will receive.

A Facebook spokesperson said in a statement:

We’re always looking for ways to improve the experience for people and advertisers, which is why we’re testing a new solution that will allow ads with text to run, but based on the amount of text in an ad’s image, the ad won’t reach as many people. We will continue to monitor how this test impacts advertisers as well as people and will iterate to ensure we are creating the best possible experience.

So while marketers have more flexibility in how they use text in Facebook ads, they’ll still get a better ROI by keeping the words to a minimum.

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