Facebook Ad Placements Guide

by | Jan 19, 2021 | Facebook Ads | 0 comments

When advertising on Facebook, there are many different options for ad placements. Within each ad set, you can choose to run automatic placements, which gives Facebook the power to allocate your budget across placements based on where your ads are likely to perform the best.

For advertisers who want a bit more control, you can choose to manually select which placements to run your ads.

In this post, we’ll go over each placement option in Facebook so you can decide which ones might work best for your ads.

Facebook Ad Platforms

The first choice you have as an advertiser is on which platform you want your ads to run. There are four available platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Audience Network, and Messenger. You can choose to show ads on all four placements or any grouping of the placements that you’d like.

Options for devices and platforms including: Facebook, Instagram, Audience Network, and Messenger

While you are likely familiar with Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger as platforms, you may not be as familiar with the Audience Network. This platform extends your ad visibility to high quality publishers that have partnered with Facebook to display ads. Facebook reviews all publishers who work with the Audience Network to make sure that their content, sites, and apps meet Facebook’s content and community standards.

Facebook Ad Placements

The platforms you select will impact the placements you can choose from based on what type of placements are available on each platform. There are currently seven different categories of ad placement options.


The first ad placement is Feeds. Within Feeds are seven different placement options:

  • Facebook News Feed: Your ads appear in the desktop News Feed when people access the Facebook website on their computers. Your ads appear in the mobile News Feed when people use the Facebook app on mobile devices or access the Facebook website through a mobile browser.
  • Instagram Feed: Your ads appear in the mobile feed when people use the Instagram app on mobile devices. Instagram Feed ads only appear to people browsing the Instagram app.
  • Facebook Marketplace: Your ads appear in the Marketplace home page or when someone browses Marketplace in the Facebook app.
  • Facebook Video Feeds: Your video ads appear between organic videos in video-only environments on Facebook Watch and Facebook News Feed.
  • Facebook Right Column: Your ads appear in the right columns on Facebook. Right column ads only appear to people browsing Facebook on their computers.
  • Instagram Explore: Your ads appear in the browsing experience when someone clicks on a photo or video.
  • Messenger Inbox: Your ads appear in the Home tab of Messenger.


The second ad placement is Stories, which help tell a visual story with full screen vertical ads. There are three placement options within Stories.

  • Facebook Stories: Your ads appear in people’s Stories on Facebook.
  • Instagram Stories: Your ads appear in people’s Stories on Instagram.
  • Messenger Stories: Your ads appear in people’s Stories on Messenger.


The third placement is in-stream which quickly captures people’s attention while they’re watching videos. Ads appear before, during, or after video content. There is only one placement type within in-stream.

  • Facebook In-Stream Videos: Your ads appear in Video on Demand and in a select group of approved partner live streams on Facebook.


The fourth placement is search which shows ads to people who search on Facebook. There is only one placement option within search.

  • Facebook Search Results: Your ads appear next to relevant Facebook and Marketplace search results.


The fifth placement category is messages. These ads can be used to send offers to people who are already connected to your business. In order to use this placement, you must select the Message objective for your ad set. There is only one placement within this category.

  • Messenger Sponsored Messages: Your ads appear as messages to people who have an existing conversation with you in Messenger. 


The sixth placement category is in-article. These ads allow you to engage with people reading content from other publishers. There is one placement within this category.

  • Facebook Instant Articles: Your ads appear in Instant Articles within the Facebook mobile app.


The last placement category is apps. Ads here allow you to expand your reach to external apps and websites. There are two placement options.

  • Audience Network Native, Banner and Interstitial: Your ads appear on apps on Audience Network.
  • Audience Network Rewarded Videos: Your ads appear as videos people can watch in exchange for a reward in an app (such as in-app currency or items).

It’s important to understand the differnet placement options available to advertisers so you can control where your ads show based on how you want to interact with users.

Do you normally use automatic placements or do you select placements manually? Let us know in the comments below!