Facebook vs the competition

There’s a video going around of a very clever and creative Facebook campaign from Ikea. Have you seen it? You better check it out because it’s unlikely you’ll see something similar again.

Two weeks ago Facebook changed their promotion guidelines to only allow competitions through applications and only with prior consent from Facebook. This means no 25 words or less responses to status updates, no uploading photos to walls, no using fan profile photos nor even referencing Facebook as part of the competition. Cheap application builders are limiting and unfortunately I feel creativity will become more reliant on budget if the existing features of Facebook are taken off the table.

This change coincided with the launch of a campaign for Warner Home Video that includes a competition (I’m talking the very same day) and a Facebook representative had tracked me within an hour of going live (it’s like a secret society – they find you, and they find you quickly!). Thankfully I had an application created with Wildfire ready to go that only required minor tweaks in consultation with the FB rep but I think that afternoon took a few years off my life in panic. What else had they changed since tactical plans had been pitched and approved and how much would need to change to adapt?

While Facebook maintains the changes are to ensure a spam free user experience, I’m a little sceptical given my familiarity with the hide function on news feeds and notifications. Will we see the same commitment to the user experience once they’ve found a better way to profit from these kind of campaigns? And something doesn’t sit right with me about the fact that integrating the platform now requires their input. If they continue to make sweeping changes with little notice then the relationship is welcomed but at what cost? If the dominant social network becomes more media than social, what impact will that have on the future landscape?

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~ by mandi bateson on November 18, 2009.

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