Affiliate Networks on the Facebook Platform

In the middle of December, Facebook released new “Platform Terms for Advertising Providers” to better regulate the networks that Facebook developers are allowed to work with. Facebook now provides a list of “Ad Providers” (or affiliate networks) that comply with these terms in an effort to “better serve your monetization needs while developing your application.”  Developers are actually prohibited from working with networks that do not appear on this list.

Here’s the list ->  http://developers.facebook.com/adproviders

I was pleased to see that three affiliate networks on the list use HasOffers for tracking, and even more of those networks have expressed interest in HasOffers over the last couple months :)

Something else I thought was interesting is that you don’t see the really large networks like CJ, ShareASale, Linkshare or Neverblue.  Why is that? Are they shy to comply with these new terms? Is there something I’m missing?  I thought I would take a closer look at the “Platform terms” to figure out what is going on.

The first point that stood out was #5 which states that “the Advertising Provider agrees to provide to Facebook the names, email addresses, and business addresses of all principals.”  It goes on to say that the network must provide Facebook with names and contact information for any employees and/or contractors as well as any developers they are working with on the Facebook platform.  Does that mean you have to hand over affiliate contacts if Facebook asks for them?

In addition to this disclosure, there is pretty healthy list of compliance requirements including immediately responding to requests from Facebook, disclosing any intent to associate with a company prohibited from operating on Facebook, providing a clear method for users to make complaints, and making all content served on the Facebook Platform available to Facebook.

I have no complaints with any of these regulations, but I can see how they might prohibit some of the largest networks from participating.  Not only is there quite a bit of red tape but there is also a pretty direct effort of Facebook to exclude businesses whose associations are extremely broad.  However, I think this is really exciting for the networks on that list who have the agility, transparency, and technology to comply with the worlds largest publisher and online developer platform.  I hope to see great things from the companies on this affiliate network list in 2011.