Musings and ramblings of a digital agency.
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By On May 19 2015 Insights With 0 Comments Permalink

Relationship with Marketer + Facebook = It’s Complicated

Facebook. The silent addiction that has us all at the mercy of getting the infinite ‘like’ or better yet, a comment to validate our status updates on what our morning run was like #nofilter, or what we had for lunch that day #foodporn.

However, with the recent changes to the Facebook API, marketers are now also at the mercy by bringing an epic buzz kill to what was some very cool features that are no longer [easily] accessible.

According to Marketing Land: “Overall, this will make for a much safer experience for users, but may present a challenge for marketers. Without friend data and the addition of a more stringent process marketers won’t be able to gather as much intelligence on their users as they used to.” So what does this all mean for those in the digital space? Other than adding at least a week on to all existing production timelines…

Here are a few “highlights”:

During a campaign, if we request anything more than a user’s public profile, email and friends list, the [fully functional] app has to be reviewed with supporting documentation. This process can take up to 3 business days if successful.

We can no longer fetch a user’s friend’s list without requesting permission, and even then it only offers the friends that have previously “connected” to the website/campaign. You can; however, request a list of “taggable friends”, but that list will depend on the individual’s privacy settings. Not to mention that you can only use that list for tagging or mentioning.

User’s can pick and choose which permissions they will allow, thus making the job for marketers a bit harder [or fun] by having to check if the user has allowed us access to email or friends list for example, and coding a fallback if they haven’t – boo!

This one is our favourite! You can no longer pre-fill share dialogues with a message, even if it is editable. It’s a clear violation of Facebook’s policies (if an app is reviewed, they’ll reject it), and they’ve completely removed that functionality from their share plugin.

Facebook Share

We have to obtain consent from people before publishing on their behalf, e.g. sharing a link automatically when people enter a promotion without making it clear that clicking the “enter” button will publish to their timeline. A suggestion to somehow avoid this new so called feature could be something like “Share to enter” – as Facebook has not been entirely clear in the guidelines as they currently stand.

So, all in all its time to start buttering up those developers to see what can be done around these new hocus-pocus changes. Otherwise, what was once a great share/lead generation tool for campaigns and marketers has now been scaled back so that the users are now in the drivers seat.