A Facebook dark post is one that doesn’t appear on the newsfeed on a brand's owned page. Instead it is only seen by a target demographic. They’re called ‘dark’ because they are ‘unpublished’ on your timeline. NB: not to be confused with the dark web in any way.
Dark posts can be used for many reasons:
- To send a bespoke message to a target group of people rather than one ‘catch-all’ post on a brand’s own page
- To reach out to new followers, not just those who already follow the brand’s page
- To be able to run multiple campaigns for multiple products or services in multiple regions without cluttering up the main feed
An update on the definition of 'what is a Facebook dark post'
At the end of 2017, as transparency became a big issue for social media companies, especially concerning the rise in fake news, Facebook announced that dark posts will no longer be ‘unpublished’. Instead, a new system will allow anyone to be able to view any ads run by a brand on Facebook. This will change the way some brands use paid social in 2018.
More info here:
- Digiday – WTF are ‘dark posts’?
- Facebook – Unpublished page post
- AdAge – No more ‘dark posts’: Facebook to reveal all ads
- ExchangeWire – The end of dark posts will grow social media advertising
You can learn more about managing your brand's dark posts and social adverts by downloading our free toolkit.