There's about to be way more advertisements floating around on Facebook.
The social network updated its branded content policy to make it easier for brands, companies and marketers to share ads on the network with help from verified Pages.
It's first important to note what exactly branded content is. Facebook defines this as "content that specifically mentions or features a third party product, brand or sponsor." To put it simply, it's content posted by someone that promotes a specific brand.
This would include Lady Gaga's Grammy performance post about working with Intel that essentially promoted the company, or some other high-profile celebrity revealing how much they love a specific product. Verified pages were previously unable to post this type of content because accounts would become nothing but spam after being paid by companies for the endorsement.
Under the new policy, verified Pages can now share branded content, but only if they play by the rules. Facebook now requires the Page to tag the third-party company's Page in their branded post. Once it's tagged, marketers will now have access to insights regarding said post, such as its reach and engagement. They can also "share and boost" the post from the verified Page to their own Facebook page to further expand its reach.
The type of posts that can feature branded content are links, photos, videos, text, Instant Articles and 360 videos. Support for Live Videos will roll out in the next several weeks.
In order to tag properly, publishers must use a new tool. This can be found through Page composer on desktop and iOS, and through the Mentions app, Ads Manager, Power Editor and the Marketing API for iOS. Android support is expected in the coming months.
Users should look for the "handshake" icon in Page composer or a "Sponsor" field in Ads Manager and Power Editor. Once the user clicks on the icon or field, they will be able to type in the name of the product, brand or sponsor they need to include. The post will then appear in News Feeds with the tag.
But Facebook is making it very clear that if Pages don't follow its new set of rules, then it will remove the post.
"Just like all content on Facebook, branded content will go through a review process," Facebook writes. "We will begin ramping up enforcement over the next few weeks to remove non-compliant branded content or disapprove ads for lack of compliance."
And to keep the ads from becoming too promotional, the company will not allow things like persistent watermarks, pre-roll advertisements and banner ads in these branded posts.
Facebook will start rolling out the branded content tool for all verified Pages over the next few weeks.