Facebook is testing a new way for page owners to create “unpublished posts” — those that intentionally do not appear to all fans of their page — directly from the composer on their page.
Unpublished posts do not appear on a page’s Timeline or in fans’ News Feeds, but they can be promoted with ads. This allows page owners to make posts that are tailored to a specific audience and ensure that they are only seen by that audience, not distributed to anyone who Likes the page. It also creates a way for advertisers to test different creative options for their page post ads without overwhelming their fans with multiple posts. Unpublished posts do not contribute to People Talking About This counts or appear in Page Insights.
Now page owners can make these kinds of posts directly from their page by clicking the clock icon used to schedule posts. After users select a year, a “hide from News Feed” option will appear. Checking that box will prevent the post from being distributed to fans’ feeds, though it will still appear on the page’s Timeline. Then a page could promote the post or use it as part of a page post ad in the mobile or desktop News Feed. Photo posts, link posts and video posts are eligible.
Although this feature is hard to discover and not particularly intuitive for most page owners, it is useful to have the “hide from News Feed” option in the composer. Previously, users could only create unpublished posts via the self-serve ad tool, Power Editor or API. The image below is from the ads tool, after selecting “Promote Page Posts” and “Create New Page Post.”
Facebook first added the option for pages to make unpublished posts through the Pages API in July 2012, but these posts were only eligible for promotion in the right hand sidebar of the site. In March of this year, however, Facebook opened up its News Feed inventory to ads created from unpublished posts.
Facebook offers some page post targeting by age, gender, location and other demographic information, there is no organic way to target posts by interests or factors like Custom Audiences. But with unpublished posts that run as page post ads in News Feed, businesses can show users more relevant content. For example, service could show longtime users one version of an ad, new users another, and leads yet another. Or an app page could make an unpublished post to promote to iPhone users and another aimed at Android users. Other brands are using unpublished posts simply to test different ad creative and optimize their campaigns.