Dark Post

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What Does Dark Post Mean?

In the social media world, a dark post is a targeted ad post that is oriented differently than a regular sponsored or promoted post.

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The dark post does not appear in the feed of your business page, nor in the feed of your followers, unless you choose to target them. Dark posts are deployed differently based on new models used by social media platforms.

They offer a high degree of audience targeting, easy options for A/B (split) testing, and have the advantage of not cluttering the feed of your business or that of your followers with ads, something that can result in looking "spammy."

On Facebook, dark posts are referred to as unpublished posts and on Twitter they are called promoted-only tweets.

Techopedia Explains Dark Post

Dark posts can be slightly different based on the platforms on which they are offered. The basic idea is that the dark post is going to be presented as a sponsored ad that's targeted directly to a specific user, rather than a post that will be routinely placed on a public feed.

For Facebook, the normal post will be on your timeline or show up in the feed of various friends based on algorithmic selection. The dark post, on the other hand, will be targeted and presented as a sponsored ad. The process is similar but different on Instagram and LinkedIn. Dark posts are becoming part of the social media lexicon as new updates build new choices into the user’s toolbox.

The idea of the dark post emerged to offer choices that are different for the poster and the recipient, based on some more elaborate use of social media placement and algorithmic or manual feed selection.

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Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.