Branded content was one of the first forms of television marketing, when soap operas were created and sponsored by brands in the 1930s. It evolved to product placement and sponsorships across TV and radio, and now includes digital editorial content that highlights a marketer’s product or service.
On Facebook, we define branded content as any post — including text, photos, videos, Instant Articles, links, 360 videos, and Live videos — that features a third party product, brand, or sponsor. It is typically posted by media companies, celebrities, or other influencers.
Today we’re updating our branded content policy to enable verified Pages to share branded content on Facebook. Along with changes to our branded content policy and ads policy, we’re offering a new tool that makes it easy for publishers and influencers to tag a marketer when they publish branded content. Publishers and influencers must use this tag for all branded content shared on Facebook.
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. We know that many of our partners have existing partnership deals with marketers, and this update gives them the ability to extend their branded content business onto Facebook.
For brands and businesses, the new tool will introduce more transparency and allow them to better understand how their marketing initiatives are performing across Facebook. Additionally, marketers can now leverage branded content creative for ads and actively engage in sponsorships to ensure their campaigns are useful, interesting, and entertaining to their target audiences. We are committed to ensuring that the branded content experience is engaging for people on Facebook and that the ecosystem thrives for our partners and marketers.
The Branded Content Tag
Starting today, we will roll out the branded content tool that enables publishers and influencers to tag a marketer in a branded content post. The marketer will be notified, can access post-level insights, and will have the option of sharing and boosting the post. We focused on designing an easy tagging experience to create a simple and streamlined workflow for both publishers and marketers. To learn more about implementing this tag, visit our Get Started page.
The Branded Content Policy
We believe that today’s update will bring more interesting and engaging content into the Facebook ecosystem, but not all branded content is a fit for our platform. People have told us that they find some types of branded content to be less engaging than others, and this was typically when the content was more promotional. Based on this feedback, our branded content guidelines prohibit overly promotional features, such as persistent watermarks and pre-roll advertisements. Additionally, cover photos and profile pictures must not feature third party products, brands, or sponsors. Branded content integrations that are allowed to be posted on Facebook include content like product placement, endcards, and marketer’s logos.
Publishers and influencers remain responsible for understanding their legal obligations to indicate the commercial nature of content they post. Visit our policy pages to learn more about the branded content policy and the ads policy.
Over the past few months we’ve been testing the updated branded content policy with a handful of publishers and marketers, across a range of content. We’re excited to see how this new format is used on Facebook.
8/2/16 UPDATE: We’ve made a couple small changes to our branded content policy. First, we updated the language of the policy to make it clearer and easier to understand. Additionally, we amended the policy to now allow graphic overlays, watermarks and logos within branded content videos, as long as they do not appear in the first three seconds of the video. You can see the full policy here, and you can check out our Getting Started guide on the Media Portal for more information on creating and sharing branded content on Facebook.