Facebook’s policy of not allowing their site functionality to be used as entry mechanics for contests has been dropped. Will this change have an impact on profiles and pages? Page managers most likely immediately wondered how this change impacts their content strategy. Owners of profiles, on the other hand, probably wondered what their newsfeed is going to look like. Assuming they even notice. So many pages flouted Facebook’s rules about this that Fans may simply see an increase in this sort of content and wonder what caused the change.

The two viewpoints are obviously linked, but perhaps not in the way you’d think. The kneejerk reaction from brands is most likely a wave of “Like this to win” type posts aimed at raising engagement. Positive engagement means a greater likelihood of those posts appearing in newsfeeds, which means increased impressions and reach.

If they do, it means that fan’s newsfeeds are likely to appear increasingly spammy. If they get irritated enough to start marking content as spam, that engaged post could quickly turn from marketing manna to promotional poison. We recently wrote about the implications of Fans becoming more choosy about the content they are exposed to. The tools to control what we see in our timelines are in place. Perhaps this latest change is the tipping point that makes Fans more arduous in maintaining and customising their newsfeed experience. This is undoubtedly a good thing.

Our opinion is that competitions have their place in any content mix, and the additional versatility is welcome but the objective remains unchanged: engagement with a brand because it’s beneficial and enjoyable for the fan. Facebook’s policy changes may impact the way that gets done but it shouldn’t undermine the goal.

You can read the original announcement on Facebook for Business and Facebook’s full list of guidelines here.