With the changes to Facebook Timeline being rolled out currently, more emphasis is being placed on images. That’s right, image content will become even more prominent, with larger photos within the Timeline.
This means that you should think about various copyright laws before just posting an image off the internet (from sites like Google, Flickr etc). The best way around this is to create your own photographs to use as content, but if that’s not always possible, we recommend using images with defined licensing to avoid copyright-violations headaches. I’ve created the below image using one of my own photographs and the App “Tiny Post” to add the text.
AllFacebook.com has simplified the rules for posting images as this:
“If you’re using an image to comment on or criticize the topic in the photo, it’s fair to post it to Facebook. If you’re using the photo for financial gain or to grow your business’ engagement or likes on Facebook, it’s not good to go.”
When you think about it, most content that is posted to a brand page on Facebook is ultimately to gain engagement or likes… So it’s probably best to be cautious before posting an image, unless you’ve contacted the rights holder, or researched to see if it’s ok to use the image. And is it enough just to reference the source of the image?
If this is all too much to get your head around, Shortstack have collated a list of four ways that Facebook Admins can source freely available images online. This list includes:
1. Searching under the Creative Commons License (which allows photographers to choose which rights they reserve & which rights they waive for their work)
2. Search Google’s Publicly Re-usable Images (using Advanced Image Search)
3. Search free Stock Photo sites (13 sites for free or cheap images can be found here)
4. Create your own images
Hopefully this will help you think twice before using an image on your Facebook Page. The lines of acceptability still seem to be a little blurry at the moment (especially with Pinterest images), but we recommend erring on the side of caution always. Unwittingly causing a legal nightmare for your brand is probably the last thing you want to do!