What is a Facebook Dark Post?

Sometimes we buy integrated content AKA “sponsored content” from local media companies. This means that we purchase an article or TV segment that looks like editorial content but it is fact paid for. This can be referred to as Native Content. One value of buying sponsored advertising content from a news media company is that they can share the content with their audience on social channels like Facebook and Instagram. However, to keep the integrity of the news brand often times the news stations will promote the sponsored story through a Facebook Dark Post. Since many of our clients are unfamiliar with the term, I thought we’d share a quick post explaining the content. Facebook Dark Posts can also be called Unpublished Posts.

A news station may share of your sponsored TV segment on Facebook with their audience as well as with a targeted defined audience; however, it’s “dark” because it doesn’t show up as a post on their Facebook newsfeed to their entire audience. Forbes does a great job explaining Dark Posting in detail in this article.   An excerpt for convenience is below.

facebook dark post unpublished post

““Dark Posts” are unpublished page posts. They used to be called “dark posts” officially, but now they’re just called “unpublished posts”. I guess now we know why the name changed.

If you have a page on Facebook, like many companies do nowadays, one of the main things you do with it is post stuff, so people can see it. Often times you want to promote these posts using Facebook ads so more people can see them, and in some cases you want to write something that only shows up as a sponsored story and doesn’t actually show up on your page. There are many different reasons why this would be desirable, like for instance if you want to have several different versions of the story for people in different countries. You don’t want all those variations to show up on your page’s wall.

So you’d write up these stories as unpublished posts, and then promote them as usual with an ad. It’s a goddamn feature. I know, because we built it. That is, my team did, and I was the PM, back when we launched Sponsored Stories at Facebook.”

Want to chat about sponsored content, a Facebook Dark Post, or general advertising? Give us a call or fill out our contact form. We’ll get in touch ASAP.