What to Know About Facebook’s Handshake Tool



Hey bloggers! A few weeks back we hosted our first ever Photography Workshop. Months before the event we realized we needed to find a way to get the workshop off the ground. This meant we needed to reach out to sponsors and luckily we were able to partner up with a handful of great sponsors who made the workshop a success. Of course like any partnership, they asked if we would share content on their behalf. While the requirements for brand partnerships vary based on the company, one thing that never changes: FTC’s Endorsement requirements.

Seeing that Facebook is a big social media platform people use to receive content, Facebook has implemented new guidelines for branded content (“Handshake Tool”). That is why we wanted to share with you all everything you need to know when it comes to sponsored posts and how to follow regulations on Facebook.

What is branded content?

While a lot of you are already familiar with sponsored posts, just in case you are not aware, companies frequently reach out to bloggers and ask if they are interested in promoting their product/service on their blog and/or social media channels in exchange for financial compensation.

In the past, due to the FTC, bloggers have been required to put something in each post to notify viewers that there is product placement their posts (i.e. #ad or #sponsored). In the recent months, the FTC has cracked down on those regulations. Mostly because of issues with high-profile celebrities, bloggers, and other creatives (we’re looking at you Kendall Jenner) who have not been completely transparent to their fans and followers in regards to payment by brands to wear their products.

“Knowing about the connection is important information for anyone evaluating the endorsement.”

What does this have to do with Facebook?

In the past few weeks, Facebook launched its new “Handshake Tool” or more formally known as the Branded Content Tool. Essentially this tool allows brands to work with bloggers/influencers in a way that lets their audience know that they have in fact been sponsored for their content.


How does it work? 

When a blogger tags a business they are automatically notified. This allows the brand to track any analytics they need to see how well the content is being received by the audience. In addition, it gives them permission to use the content on their own Page.

Branded content posts can be recognized by seeing ‘Paid’ within the post just underneath the ‘with’ tag that identifies the business partner.


Why should you do it?

If Facebook finds that you have violated the new agreement that won’t actually take down your content, they will completely remove it from your audience’s news feed. If this is the case, simply remove the post and repost tagging the appropriate brand.

So if you are in a business relationship with a brand you MUST use this tool in order for Facebook for to recognize it as a proper business exchange. If you haven’t already, be sure to sign up through this link. Keep in mind that while this is a necessary step, you still have to make sure you are also following all FTC regulations.

How do you feel about these new Facebook regulations? Do you think this will hurt brand partnerships? Let us know!


Written by Ashlee O’Neil