Facebook now allows pages to make ‘unpublished’ posts to test creative options


By Brittany Darwell Comment

Facebook recently added an option for pages to make “unpublished” posts through the Pages API. Unpublished posts, also known as “dark posts,” do not appear on a page’s Timeline or in fans’ News Feeds, but they can be promoted with ads.

Facebook ad and page management platforms can integrate this feature to help page owners test different creative options. Previously, page owners using the self-serve ad tool or Ads API could not run page-post ads without creating a post that would also show up in fans’ feeds. Now, for instance, a business can target non-fans with an ad that includes an intro video that might not be relevant to users who have already Liked the page.

The feature might also be useful for testing copy for potential posts. For example, a page can create a few unpublished posts and then turn them into ad units. Based on the response, page owners can decide which variation to ultimately publish to all fans or put more ad dollars against. Pages could also use this as a way to reach different segments of their audience with different messages, whether its promoting different posts for men and women or promoting certain content based on specific interests.

Premium advertisers — those working directly with Facebook to run ads on the homepage — have had the option to make page-post ads without publishing them to their page since February if not earlier. Including the unpublished posts feature in the API will give third-party ad providers and page management companies the opportunity to better serve brands and other page owners that are looking for ways to optimize their social media efforts.

Hat tip to David Turner, of PageLever, for pointing out this addition to the Pages API.