Facebook to Eliminate ‘Dark Posts’: Implications for Advertisers

BACKGROUND

Recently, Facebook announced that it would create more transparency in the ad space by allowing users to see the active ads that pages are running across various platforms, including Facebook, Instagram and Audience Network. This effort is part of a larger effort to create more transparency for all Facebook advertisers, but we will see additional features roll out to election-related ads, including being able to see spend and impressions delivered in a searchable archive—the first time anything like this has been available. While this launched as a result of political ad transparency, we will likely see this open up a previously closed space from a brand perspective, providing brands access to their competitors’ creative and social strategies, which were previously hidden in dark posts.
IMPLICATIONS FOR BRANDS
  • This push from Facebook will likely encourage more transparency around placement and impressions in the future. Based on their efforts in the political ad space (eventually opening up spend and impression data), we may eventually see this trend apply to brands as well.
  • This change will open up much of what isn’t available from a competitor perspective and will allow us as an agency to better audit and understand competitor strategies
    Information that wasn’t previously available to competitors now is; spend, impressions and targeting are still protected, but based on message and quantity, brands will be able to see into their competitors’ strategies (and those competitors will be able to see into your strategies)
  • From a consumer perspective, we don’t anticipate many people will be digging through brand pages in search of all live ads, but we do anticipate action from brands and agencies seeking competitive information
Note that not every dark post created by an advertiser will be posted live to the brand’s wall. Dark posts will only be visible to a consumer if:
  • They’re served an ad and click an option to see more
  • They go to the brand’s Facebook page and click an option to see live ads
To learn more about Facebook’s elimination of ‘Dark Posts’, contact Performics today.

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