Facebook’s policy on ads for cryptocurrency has flipped once again, leaving those who want to advertise cryptocurrency on Facebook another opportunity.
Facebook recently reversed its policy of just a few months ago on cryptocurrency ads. What was a total ban has now shifted to a new rule allowing some cryptocurrency on Facebook.
But you’ll have to jump through some hoops to get there.
Cryptocurrency On Facebook
Facebook instituted the ban in January 2018. The idea behind the ban was to prevent scammers on the site. Or, as Facebook put it, “financial products and services frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices.”
Facebook banned any company from advertising any cryptocurrency. That included the popular Bitcoin. They also banned advertising ICO (initial coin offerings), which are used to raise money to back a new cryptocurrency.
The ban extended from Facebook onto places where it sells ads, such as Instagram, and its ad network, called Audience Network.
Rob Leathern, one of Facebook’s ad tech directors, wrote that the policy was “intentionally broad while we work to better detect deceptive and misleading advertising practices. We will revisit this policy and how we enforce it as our signals improve.”
Just a few months later, that revisiting of the policy happened.
The New Policy
Facebook this summer changed its position on the ban. Part of the reason is that the bubble around Bitcoin had deflated. While it was priced at about $20,000 per coin at the end of 2017, that price is now around $8,000.
The new policy will require cryptocurrency advertisers to apply and get pre-approval from Facebook. The exact nature of the screening process is unknown, but applications can be submitted through the site.
ICOs are still banned. So are binary options, which allow traders to speculate on whether the price of an asset (including cryptocurrency) will be above or below a certain price at some point in the future.
Facebook may have looked at the considerable revenue possible from allowing cryptocurrency ads in partially reversing its earlier decision, according to Recode. They noted that cryptocurrency is a “growing, exciting industry” with the potential for many advertisers.
They wrote: “So long as Facebook’s users aren’t getting scammed, the company would certainly love to take on the extra ad revenue.
Facebook had good reason for its initial concerns, as do Google, Twitter and Snapchat, which also banned ads for cryptocurrency.
The Federal Trade Commission reported that consumers lost $532 million in cryptocurrency scams in January and February of 2018 alone. They project consumers will lose a staggering $3 billion by the end of the year.
As for now, the bans on cryptocurrency by Google, Twitter and Snapchat remain in effect.