Learn from the Open Web

The open web got a bit more open. Following Russian interference, Facebook’s doing what it can to make advertising on its platform more transparent in an effort to appease critics that the platform is too big, too powerful and in serious need of regulation. 

Its latest step is making any ad running on Facebook viewable by anyone else. This is meant to bring dark posts out of the dark with a new “view ads” icon that will display on every advertiser’s Facebook Page. Anyone who clicks that icon will see any of the ads an advertiser is currently running. Facebook’s not alone. Twitter is taking a similar approach with its platform. 

This is a marked shift by Facebook. Dark posts have traditionally played a pretty critical role for advertisers to test creative with a small group of users without it being seen by anyone else, as well as target specifically-tailored creative to different audience segments. Dark posts allowed advertisers to take a segmented approach to their advertising. Now, that ability isn’t going away. What is going away is the ability to do all of that in secret. That’s what’s happening to your brand, but it’s also what’s happening to the competition.