Facebook announced it will update its terms of service as of Jan. 1, 2015. I didn’t spot any major changes in the new terms versus the old terms; but depending on how you interact with Facebook—if you’re a developer, for instance—you may want to take a closer look. Many of the changes involve taking sections out of the main TOS document and linking to them on an external page (I’ve listed the changes below).
Facebook also is updating its cookies policy (new policy vs current policy); updating its policies to explain how it gets location information on users; debuting a “Privacy Basics” guide for users; and mentioned again that it is testing a “Buy” button in some regions.
Here are the terms of service changes:
1. Tweak to the language on Payments.
Current: If you make a payment on Facebook or use Facebook Credits, you agree to our Payments Terms.
New: If you make a payment on Facebook, you agree to our Payments Terms unless it is stated that other terms apply.
2. Change to display of Promotions Guidelines.
Current (located in the main body of the TOS): You will follow our Promotions Guidelines and all applicable laws if you publicize or offer any contest, giveaway, or sweepstakes (“promotion”) on Facebook.
New (located at the bottom of the TOS): Promotions Guidelines: These guidelines outline the policies that apply if you offer contests, sweepstakes, and other types of promotions on Facebook.
3. Change to presentation of developer terms:
Current: Special Provisions Applicable to Social Plugins and Special Provisions Applicable to Developers/Operators of Applications and Websites. (These had gotten very long in the current version.)
New: Everything is merged into one section, and linked to an external page:
Special Provisions Applicable to Developers/Operators of Applications and Websites. If you are a developer or operator of a Platform application or website or if you use Social Plugins, you must comply with the Facebook Platform Policy.
4. Special Provisions Applicable to Advertisers also appears to have gotten long, and is now condensed:
If you use our self-service advertising creation interfaces for creation, submission and/or delivery of any advertising or other commercial or sponsored activity or content (collectively, the “Self-Serve Ad Interfaces”), you agree to our Self-Serve Ad Terms. In addition, your advertising or other commercial or sponsored activity or content placed on Facebook or our publisher network will comply with our Advertising Guidelines.
5. The process for making future TOS changes has itself been amended. Previouslythe first bullet point in the Amendments section read:
- Unless we make a change for legal or administrative reasons, or to correct an inaccurate statement, we will provide you with seven (7) days notice (for example, by posting the change on the Facebook Site Governance Page) and an opportunity to comment on changes to this Statement. You can also visit ourFacebook Site Governance Page and “like” the Page to get updates about changes to this Statement.
- We’ll notify you before we make changes to these terms and give you the opportunity to review and comment on the revised terms before continuing to use our Services.