Creating unpublished posts on Facebook just got easier. The social network’s latest test enables you to create these “dark posts” directly from the composer box on your Facebook Page.

Unpublished posts might seem counterintuitive — they don’t appear on your Timeline or in fans’ News Feeds — but they’re actually quite helpful for advertisers. Since they can be promoted with ads, it’s a great way to target a group of customers without alienating others.

Previously you could only create unpublished posts through the self-serve ad tool, Power Editor, or Ads API. Now you can make these posts directly from your Page by clicking the clock icon used to schedule posts. The only downside is that this feature is a little difficult to discover from your Page.

Once you’ve clicked on the scheduling icon you have to select a year in order to see the “Hide from News Feed” option. Checking that box will prevent the post from being distributed to fans’ feeds; however, it will still display on your Timeline. From here, you can promote the post or create a Page Post Ad.

Hopefully Facebook will make this option a little easier to find in the future. If you’d prefer to create an unpublished post through the self-serve ad tool, the process is very similar. Just select “Promote Page Posts” and click the “Create New Page Post” button. From there, enter a year and check the box next to the “Hide from News Feed” option.

By creating an unpublished post you’re able to tailor your message to a specific audience that will be seen by the intended demographic instead of being distributed to anyone who Likes your Page. Unpublished posts also provide you with an opportunity to test different creative options for Page Post Ads without overwhelming your fans.

[Via: Inside Facebook, Image credit: David Goehring]