We have seen an increasing number of complex cases where certain applications and certain content may be appropriate or available to specific audiences and users, but not to others. For example, you may license some content (video, movies, games, etc.) that you can only make available to users in certain regions, such as U.S. and Canada but not to the rest of the world. Or you may have an application where you want to limit the entire experience to a certain age group such as teenagers, or people of legal drinking age.

Today we're launching new API methods and an FBML tag as part of a new feature called "Demographic Restrictions" that will allow you to restrict your entire application or specific content within your application to certain demographic groups of users by age or by location. We hope this feature will help ensure users are presented with safe and relevant content while giving you more flexibility to innovate and build your business.

When you restrict your entire application to a specific demographic group (using the admin.setRestrictionInfo method), your application won't:

  • Appear to any users who are restricted from seeing your application. These users cannot access your canvas pages.
  • Appear in search results when a restricted user searches for it.
  • Be able to send any requests or notifications or publish Feed stories to restricted users.

For example, if you have licensed a game for U.S. and Canada users only, you can use this method to restrict the application to those countries only, and it will simply not appear to users in the rest of the world.

If you have specific content you want to restrict, but want to keep your application generally visible to all users, you can use the fb:restricted-to tag to restrict the audience for that specific content. This tag ensures that the content will appear only to users who should view it.

Our restriction technology is based on a combination of what information a user has entered and verified on Facebook as well as IP targeting for location. You must use this technology whenever Facebook policies require it (more on that below), but you can and should consider implementing additional consent or confirmation in your application as appropriate. For example, if for legal reasons your application requires the user to affirm that they are of a certain age or are in a certain location, you should continue to solicit that explicit affirmation, and not regard the fact that the user passed through the Demographic Restrictions as equivalent.

Please read the Demographic Restrictions wiki article for more details.

Policy Update

With this announcement, we are in the process of revising our Platform Application Guidelines that currently restrict applications promoting content such as sale of alcohol. We plan to modify this policy to permit promotion of content around the sale of alcohol, provided that you specifically use the Demographic Restrictions feature to restrict your application or content to users of appropriate legal age.

Starting today, we are beta-testing this technology and policy change with a very limited set of companies. We plan for this policy change to take effect officially before the end of September, based on a successful beta period and rollout. If there are any changes or updates to this plan and timing, we will inform you quickly.

For any confidential questions or matters, please write us at developers-help@facebook.com. Otherwise please use the Developer Forum, where we'll be participating and the whole community can join in the conversation.