Facebook Updates Guidelines on Branded Content, Debuts Tool

Expect to see more branded content in your News Feed, as Facebook Friday introduced a new branded content tool and updated guidelines.

Expect to see more branded content in your News Feed, as Facebook Friday introduced a new branded content tool and updated guidelines.

Product manager Clare Rubin and vice president of partnerships Nick Grudin detailed how Facebook defines branded content in a Facebook Media blog post:

On Facebook, we define branded content as any post—including text, photos, videos, Instant Articles, links, 360 videos and Live videos—that specifically mentions or features a third-party product, brand or sponsor. It is typically posted by media companies, celebrities or other influencers.

Facebook said the branded content tag can be added to photos, videos, links, text, Instant Articles and 360-degree videos with the tool’s launch Friday, with support for Facebook Live videos, including those from the Facebook Mentions application, coming “over the next several weeks.”

The most important guideline is a clear indication that the post represents branded content, and Rubin and Grudin wrote that the update was a response to requests from media companies, public figures, influencers and marketers, adding:

For brands and businesses, the new tool will introduce more transparency and allow them to better understand how their marketing initiatives are performing across Facebook. Additionally, marketers can now leverage branded content creative for ads and actively engage in sponsorships to ensure that their campaigns are useful, interesting and entertaining to their target audiences. We are committed to ensuring that the branded content experience is engaging for people on Facebook and that the ecosystem thrives for our partners and marketers.

The branded content tool being introduced by the social network will allow publishers and influencers to tag marketers in their branded content posts, notifying those marketers and giving them access to post-level insights, as well as the ability to share and boost those posts.

Rubin and Grudin outlined the update to Facebook’s policy on branded content as follows:

We believe that today’s update will bring more interesting and engaging content into the Facebook ecosystem, but not all branded content is a fit for our platform. People have told us that they find some types of branded content to be less engaging than others, and this was typically when the content was more promotional. Based on this feedback, our branded content guidelines prohibit overly promotional features, such as persistent watermarks and pre-roll advertisements. Additionally, cover photos and profile pictures must not feature third-party products, brands or sponsors. Branded content integrations that are allowed to be posted on Facebook include content like product placement, end cards and marketers’ logos.

Facebook also published a thorough overview of its new branded content tool on the Facebook Media page, and highlights include:

All branded content must be tagged using the tool, which is available through page composer on desktop and iOS, Power Editor, Ads Manager, the marketing application-programming interface and the Mentions app on iOS. We will extend branded content support to Android in the coming months.

Look for the “handshake” icon in page composer to add the branded content tag. In Ads Manager and Power Editor, you will see a “Sponsor” field.


Type in the name of the third party product, brand or sponsor featured in the post. Be sure to tag the correct entity, especially in cases when the third party is part of a parent product, brand or sponsor.


Branded content posts will appear in News Feed with the “with” tag.


See insights for branded content posts as you would any other post.


Readers: What do you think about the branded content developments from Facebook?


david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.