Facebook Terms Are Changing. Are You Prepared?

Facebook has become THE platform of our social media era. Billions of people worldwide are able to connect, share, and engage with others. This of course rolls over to businesses as well. Your brand has the opportunity to be showcased globally, just by having a Facebook page. However, are you aware of the updates to the Facebook Terms of Use? Hopefully you are! If not, well, you should probably brush up on them.
 
While the CEO of Facebook claims to be an advocate for freedom of speech, his actions and company policies say otherwise. Basically, the new changes coming to Facebook Terms of Use allow them the right to remove your content, at any time. What does this mean for businesses primarily operating on Facebook? You’re at risk. At risk of losing your audience and all the work you’ve done in building your brand. At any point in time, if Facebook doesn’t like what you’re doing, they can remove your page and it’s content. Gone forever.

Now, I know you’re asking, why are Facebook terms changing?

What’s caused such a major shift in Facebook Terms of Use that is contradicting to Zuckerberg’s vision? The answer is in Australia. Specifically, an anti-trust law which the government has now passed. This law is directed towards giants like Facebook who are asked to pay a fair share of profits to Australian media outlets for news shared on the platform. I think we can all agree, this ask is a bit much. However, it’s what has now sparked a global change to Facebook Terms of Use.  Preventing them from having to pay fees to the Australian government. Now, don’t start feeling safe just yet. This change isn’t limited to Australia, this is a global update. Meaning, this impacts every user on the Facebook platform.
What are the updates Facebook is making to their terms of use?

Here is the exact quote users received when Facebook announced the changes.

“Effective October 1, 2020, section 3.2 of our Terms of Service will be updated to include: “We also can remove or restrict access to your content, services or information if we determine that doing so is reasonably necessary to avoid or mitigate adverse legal or regulatory impacts to Facebook.”

It’s a censorship warning that allows Facebook to remove or restrict access to any content on the platform. These changes will come into effect on October 1st, 2020.

Facebook has been under a lot of scrutiny lately when it comes to censorship. They’ve restricted and pulled anti-government posts in Vietnam yet denied the accusation. It also can’t be ignored that the timing of this update coincides with the upcoming US Presidential Election. Facebook terms now allow them to police content on a massive scale, which can cause pivotal shifts in the social landscape.

Facebook Is A Tool, That’s It.

Facebook is an amazing tool for small businesses and entrepreneurs. Business pages are free of charge, allowing those who are starting out to have their own platform. There are so many benefits to having your business on Facebook. You’re connected to a global network of people who at anytime can become part of your audience. You have the opportunity to engage and have a conversation with your audience as well. Because of this, Facebook is an extremely valuable tool for businesses to have. But that’s all it is, a valuable tool. It is not the be all end all of communication with your audience. If your website URL starts with facebook.com, you are at risk of losing everything. Utilizing Facebook as the only means to engage and connect with your audience makes your business vulnerable. At anytime, Facebook can remove your content from their platform. That doesn’t mean take your business off Facebook. It means you need to have another platform for communication with your audience.

You need a website. A REAL website.

Having your own website means you have your own platform. You are in complete control of the content on your website. Meaning, it won’t be taken down at a moments notice. Not only does having a real website give you that freedom, control, and security, it also gives you credibility. If someone asks for your website and are directed to your Facebook page, you immediately lose credibility.

Anybody can create a Facebook page. This creates a stigma around brands only utilizing Facebook that they’re not serious or credible. Brands who utilize Facebook pages as a marketing tool, directing their audience towards their website, have much more success. Your website is where your audience goes to learn more about you and what you offer. Your Facebook page is where the majority of your audience is first introduced to your brand.

When someone is first introduced to your brand on Facebook, it feels natural for them to proceed to your website. There’s only so much information you can have on Facebook, if there’s not enough for someone to feel confident in working with you, they’ll go elsewhere. Probably to someone with a website.

In summary, Facebook isn’t going to go on a huge content ban spree and all of a sudden your business pages are gone. BUT, the risk is still there that they can remove your content at any time. As a business owner, I’m not comfortable with that. If you’re a business owner who’s only utilizing Facebook pages for your audience, reach out to us for a special website offer. We want to ensure that your business is setup for success. Our team of dedicated designers and developers can take your vision and turn it into a platform to grow your audience. Contact us today to get started.

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