Facebook’s recent overhaul of its rules for company promotions removes some major roadblocks for social businesses. Some will be relieved and some will be confused (there were rules about these things?), but everyone will be excited to spread the word about their promotions. This is a win-win situation: users are happy, and Facebook makes bank. facebook-rule-change

Wait…there were rules?

The announcement about the update probably left a lot of social media managers scratching their heads saying, “That was against the rules?” You’ve probably heard about, seen or participated in one of those “like to win” contests in the past because many users were either unaware or chose to disregard the old promotion rules.

Likes, comments and messages are now valid entries into promotional giveaways, whereas they weren’t allowed before this update. Previously, page owners were required to go through third-party applications (which were sometimes pricey and often time consuming) to develop fan-gated content and promotions. Even though Facebook’s promotional rules were clearly stated in its Pages Terms, it was a rare page indeed that followed them closely.

In fact, many page owners may have known about the rules, but decided that Facebook was too big to police its efforts and flew under the radar. So Facebook had an issue on its hands: some users were playing by the rules and paying third-party developers to help them run their promotions, while others were running “Like this for your chance to win” promotions anyway.

A win for Facebook

These updates are a small victory for companies with small social budgets, but are a gigantic win for Facebook. With this immense promotion of the new, more lenient rules, Facebook is getting the attention of all of us who used to do our social promotion by the book. No more wading through the massive world of third-party application development companies to offer a simple raffle—page owners can now run more promotions more easily.

How does this translate into a win for Facebook? This is simply a reallocation of the companies’ social budgets from third-party app developers straight into Facebook’s pockets. Without spending on development, those that lived by the rulebook can now promote their giveaways with sponsored posts and Facebook ads more than before. Even those that didn’t play by the rules before have now been given the green light to do what they’ve already been doing – and to be proud of it.

Facebook’s Q2 2013 revenue reached $1.81 billion, and with 88 percent of that revenue coming from ads, these updates could be the perfect “cherry on top.” Additionally, as more traffic (and ad revenue) is coming from mobile, page owners will be wanting to offer simple, mobile-friendly promotions more than ever. It will certainly be interesting to watch whether third party application developers sink, swim, or innovate until they can position themselves as essential tools for businesses once again.

Ultimately, this means Facebook users may start seeing more promotions they can enter with the click of a mouse or a touch on a smartphone. It also means businesses may have to ramp up their offerings in order to compete, since they playing field has been leveled. Do these updates change the game for your Facebook page, or will you return to business as usual?

Image credit: sophiabudapest