How Facebook’s New Branded Content Policy Effects Publishers
As of April 8, Facebook requires publishers to tag brands and explicitly acknowledge that they’re sharing branded content on the platform. This is a big change for publishers like Buzzfeed and The New York Times, who in the past, have gotten away with sharing native ads without mentioning brands by posting to Facebook pages they created for their content studios. Think: Buzzfeed’s Partner Page and the T Brand Studio Page.
These publishers were also creating identical ads for brand sponsors that appeared in users’ feeds as ads but didn’t show up on the publisher’s Facebook page. Moreover, publishers were the only ones with access to all of the insights on their Facebook ads and posts, which gave them the upper hand when negotiating deals and reporting metrics. Not anymore. Facebook’s new policy will allow brands access to all of the insights on a Facebook post or ad that they’re now required to be tagged in. Thereby clearly identifying the content as an ad, and giving advertisers the ability to see how much traffic to native ads comes from Facebook ads rather than organic website traffic.
This is bad news for publishers posting effective but deceptive branded content in the past, when they were able to buy the majority of their clicks from Facebook on the cheap and charge brands huge premiums to post on their partner pages. Moving forward, it will be interesting to see how this effects publishers both big and small and how Facebook and brands will use the new policy to their advantage.