Much to the surprise and likely disappointment to the countless beer trading groups that are active on Facebook, the social media company announced earlier today that it had updated its policies to prohibit the sale of alcohol (and tobacco products) between private individuals.
The site had already prohibited the sale of alcohol and tobacco in its Marketplace section of the site, but this regulation change extends it into groups and what the company calls “organic content," which includes comments and posts.
CNN first reported the change on Wednesday morning and Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine independently confirmed the policy shift with Facebook.
“We are updating our regulated goods policy to prohibit the sale of alcohol and tobacco products between private individuals on Facebook and Instagram,” a Facebook Spokesperson wrote in an email to Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine. “Our commerce policies already prohibit the sale of tobacco or alcohol in places like Marketplace but we’re now extending this to organic content.”
Facebook has become a go-to for beer traders with public and private ISO:FT groups surrounding nearly every major city and region as well as individual breweries. Online beer forums and other Internet sites still do a robust trading business, but the sheer size of Facebook and Instagram, the first and sixth largest social media sites in the world, make them obvious fertle ground for beer trades.
Wednesday’s announcement comes on the heels of Instagram beta testing the hiding of its “like” counter, which was designed to make that platform less of a popularity contest but has frustrated some influencers, who rely on those numbers to help promote products on behalf of companies.
This change only applies to the sale of alcohol and tobacco, and it's unclear how Facebook intends to apply these rules to bartering and trading, but posting pictures in groups dedicated to appreciating or discussing the products is not restricted. So for now those glamour shots of Naturdays you have loaded up from this weekend’s bash are good to post.