The problem with Facebook ads has long been that there isn’t a good way to track conversions so I was using an eBay Partner Network link on a specific Facebook Ads campaign specifically so I could see how many conversions I was getting from that Facebook Ad. Based on those numbers, advertising on Facebook was worth it, something I wouldn’t have known if I hadn’t used partner network to track conversions.
I wasn’t particularly trying to do anything evil, just use the tools available to me to see if my ads were working.
That said, on the heels of the news that the eBay Partner Network is cracking down on using Twitter (see TameBay’s article, eBay Partner Network close accounts using shortened URLs,) they are now cracking down on Facebook so I have taken down all my Facebook ads until I can fix them to not be partner links.
To their credit, though I’d heard horror stories of people’s account being closed with no warning, they simply sent me a warning:
Facebook Warning – AC20
During a recent review, we noticed that you are placing your affiliate links on Facebook.com. As of August 1, 2009, the eBay Partner Network no longer allows publisher to place links on third party sites. You must own your own domain, and since you do not own Facebook.com, you are violating our terms of service. We are sending you this message as a warning. Please remove all of your links from Facebook.com. As soon as your are compliant with our terms and conditions, please reply to this message.
The Network Quality Team.
So I immediately stopped my ad campaign and tried to reply to this email as directed. Of course, this email was sent from firstname.lastname@example.org so I wasn’t very hopeful this would work but I tried anyway and, as expected, it bounced back. I’m going to log into my account shortly and see if I can email them through there.
One thing I do want to add is that I’ve been doing this Facebook Ads/eBay Partner Network combo for well over a year and this is the first I’ve heard of it being an issue so it may reflect a newer change in policy. I even called the campaign Facebook Ads in my Partner Network account to be as transparent as possible about this and it never raised a red flag to them before this so this cracking down is somewhat new.
I am appreciative of the warning instead of just deleting my account when I had no idea I was even in violation of anything and hopefully this issue will be resolved quickly (I’ll keep you updated). If nothing else, this makes me feel like they aren’t the tyrants some other blogs make them out to be, changing rules and deleting accounts randomly. They changed something but then gave me a warning and a chance to fix it. I appreciate that.
But when Amazon Associates (their referral program) has a new site bar that makes it easier for you to share affiliate links on Facebook and Twitter with one click, does it make sense for eBay to ban referral links on social networks?