In a recent change of direction, the highly popular social website Facebook has recently decided to no longer allow advertisements related to online gambling.
As social networking goes, Facebook is one of the biggest websites with a participant list growing steadily and on its way to topping nine million, according to web traffic analysts. Up until this decision came to light, most forms of advertising were permitted except certain highly antisocial or dangerous products or services, such as those that promoted weapons and ammunition, smoking products and spy equipment.
With a wide appeal from a cross section of demographics to consider, Facebook have made the decision to work towards protecting their younger and more vulnerable audience. To that end, they will no longer allow advertisements previously submitted by certain sectors such as nudity, illegal drugs, offensive religious campaigns and this has also been extended to advertisements by gambling operators that constitute online casinos, sports books, poker rooms or bingo websites.
On a separate front, Google, the world’s largest search engine has recently done an about turn on its own position with regards to online gambling by allowing gambling themed websites to remain in its index.
Despite this, the advertising censorship move by Facebook has been implemented in an attempt to protect the site’s users and to maintain the clean, family image of its social networking site. This is seen as something of a blow to gambling website owners who viewed Facebook as a valuable promotional and marketing tool. With several million people using the site every day, the potential advertising reach was considerable.
However, despite the formal restrictions on advertising now in place, the online gambling industry has not been completely excluded from the site. Online casino owners are still able to create fan pages and user groups within Facebook that will allow their followers to stay in touch with their favorite sites and get updates and information that way. In this sense, what the owners of the social site have taken away with one hand, they have given back with the other. This means that the site can still be used for successful advertising via word of mouth as well as viral campaigns that are capable of generating a huge amount of traffic to the originator’s website.
In the case of online gambling, it could simply be a case of business as usual, albeit in a less direct way.