Facebook Restricts Sponsored Status Updates

    August 12, 2009
    Chris Crum

You’ve probably heard of the concept of sponsored tweeting. Perez Hilton is making deals to do it. The company Izea, which is known for PayPerPost, is offering such services. Those are for tweets though. To make sure this practice doesn’t break into Facebook, the social network is working on changing its statement of Rights and Responsibilities.

On the Facebook blog, the company said it was altering the document, but leaving it open for feedback and user governance. The company writes:

Today, we are proposing some updates to the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities (SRR), which governs our relationship with users and others who interact with us and replaced our Terms of Use earlier this year. Occasionally, we need to make updates to the SRR in order to account for new features and policies or just to make things more clear. As members of the Facebook community, we want you to be involved in the site’s governance. That’s why we’re committed to giving you the opportunity to review and comment on changes before they go into effect.

The proposed SRR we’re announcing today mostly includes clarifying changes and minor updates. We encourage you to read the revised SRR in its entirety on the Facebook Site Governance Page, where you can review the changes and give us your comments. Please take a look and provide your feedback before 10:00 a.m. PDT on August 18.

The first point under the safety section of the document reads:

You will not send or otherwise post unauthorized commercial communications to users (such as spam).

Fake Sponsored update

Disclaimer: The Above image is not a real sponsored update.

It is not surprising that such a rule would be implemented. In fact, it would not be surprising to see Twitter follow suit, especially with the recent attention the FTC has paid to this kind of thing. Word of mouth is one of the most effective forms of marketing, but that becomes tainted once your friends have sold out.

Facebook says that it has received requests for a redlined version of the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities to help people better understand the updates they’re proposing. The company says they’re working on this and plan to post it to the Facebook Site Governance Page soon.