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Staying friends with Facebook

Facebook updated its terms of service in December 2009 and in doing so incurred a user backlash against some of the changes. This backlash largely related to ownership of material posted onto users’ and brands’ Facebook pages, with the new terms of service suggesting that content posted on Facebook pages becomes the property of Facebook.

Greg Whitham, a member of the CAANZ Digital Leadership Group, says those brand keepers who hurriedly pulled their content off Facebook in December 2009 should have been more concerned about whether or not their Facebook pages met the other terms and conditions of the Facebook platform.

“If you are using Facebook to run promotions or experiential activities you must ensure your campaign complies with Facebook’s guidelines and you can do this by going to the website.”

There is nothing too onerous within the Facebook terms & conditions, but those agencies choosing to ignore them do so at their peril. Facebook has the power to remove fans and user pages found to be in breach, which could come at a cost to those campaigns using Facebook as part of the marketing mix, Whitham says.

There are clear guidelines provided as to how you may (and may not) refer to Facebook within the context of your brand or campaign outside of Facebook. These can be found here.

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