Dan Hinmon, MCSMN Director

Posts: 2878
Joined: Apr 13, 2011

No More "Dark Posts:" Facebook to Reveal All Ads

Posted by @DanHinmon, Nov 10, 2017

Thanks to @MakalaArce for pointing us to this article.

If you’re not familiar with dark posts, these are “ads that target only a particular set of people but are invisible otherwise because they never appear as posts on a brand or group’s page.”

With this new change, ads will be visible to all.

Why? “The transparency tools are a reaction to Facebook’s discovery that Russian provocateurs had targeted paid ads from misleading pages during the last election cycle.”

How will this affect your Facebook ad strategy?


Most of our ads are blog posts or news releases for which we set up separate ads. The only reason for doing this (rather than turning the post into an ad) was to have more control over the photo, after FB’s changes where you couldn’t change a link photo or description text in an organic post. So to a user who cares enough to review our ads, it might look strange that we did this.

Now that it looks like FB has reversed that (!), we can go back to turning the posts into ads.

I think it’s a positive change. It will make my job a little easier when I need to provide screenshots or links to ads. The only negative might be that in our industry, a patient could look at your ads and say “hmm, I had to pay $500 for bloodwork last week, and you’re spending how much on these five ads?”

I think this opens up competitive intelligence options significantly. Previously, you could choose to not show your ad to fans of a particular page (might be a strategy to try to avoid employees of a competitor from seeing your ad). Now, those very people would have a link to proactively see all your Facebook ads.

It would also raise concerns around exclusivity offers. For example, in the past a brand may have advertised a discount to a certain target audience and a different price to others, or possibly a product wasn’t even available to a certain portion of the audience at all. Now, consumers would be able to see the other offers. This scenario may not be as relevant for health care brands, but I think there would be MANY implications of this Facebook change.

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