A Beginners Guide To Facebook Ad Placements

Where Do Users Really See Your Ads?

When you decide to advertise with Facebook, you’re opting to advertise in a wide variety of ways on more platforms than just the Facebook website itself. Facebook’s algorithm not only takes your ad quality and their customer’s interests into consideration, but they also evaluate exactly where their users prefer to be reached.

If you utilize Facebook’s automatic placements feature you are giving Facebook’s algorithm the power to determine where your users are the most likely to convert into purchasers. However, as advertisers we want to know where exactly users will be seeing and engaging with our ads and that’s precisely what you’ll learn with this Facebook Ad Placement breakdown!


It should come as no surprise that the majority of ad placement variation appears on the Facebook platform. Note that there are currently 8 different locations Facebook can place your ad on their site.

You’re likely the most familiar with News Feed placements which appear as sponsored posts when you’re scrolling through your feed. You’re also probably familiar with the Facebook Stories placement which is auto-populated as users watch friends’ Facebook Stories. These tend to be the two most sought after Facebook ad placements as they take up the largest portion of a user’s screen and are the most likely to capture a potential customer’s attention. However, by utilizing all of Facebook’s ad placements you can allow Facebook to determine the best way to reach your users while keeping CPMs as low as possible.

Advertisers should ensure they’re creating exciting video content to take full advantage of Facebook’s video-only placements including the Facebook Video Feeds and In-Stream Video network. The Facebook Video Feed displays your ads in-between organic videos on Facebook Watch and in your news feed while In-Stream Videos place ads before, during or after video content that appears on Facebook.

Note that Instant Articles are only available on mobile devices. Instant Articles load 10x faster than other ads delivered on Facebook which provides an easy access point for users to quickly view your content.


Facebook purchased Instagram for $1 billion in April of 2012. Due to this merger you can use Facebooks Ad Manager to build and launch ads on Instagram.

Instagram reports that 1 billion users check their Instagram Feed each month and Instagram Stories are viewed over 500 million times a day. Currently the ideal aspect ratio to use in the Instagram Feed placement is 4:5 as this takes up a larger majority of a user’s screen as they scroll and is more likely to capture their attention. Instagram Stories should always fill the user’s full screen and should be created at a 9:16 ratio.

Recently added to Instagram ads is the Instagram Explore placement. Instagram’s Explore page is where users go to discover content they’re interested in from users they don’t follow. The algorithm selects posts to display that it thinks users will like based on their pre-existing interests and other posts they have engaged with on the platform. You can now place ads directly on the Explore Feed. This displays your ads in full view of users already on the search for new and interesting finds.


There are two methods of advertising via Messenger. Messenger Stories appear in the Messenger Inbox between stories while Sponsored Messages allow you to send promotions and offers directly to a customer’s inbox. You become eligible to send users Sponsored Messages when you’ve already established organic contact with the customer via messenger. For instance if a customer asks you a question about product price or sizing via Messenger, your brand is then eligible to send that user ads in their Messenger Inbox.

Audience Network

Over 1 billion people see an Audience Network ad each month. One Facebook study reported that conversion rates were 8x higher for advertisers utilizing the Audience Network as opposed to those who chose to disable the feature.

The Audience Network allows Facebook to display your ads across a large network of websites and apps. Forbes, Yahoo, MTV, Buzzfeed and the Food Network are just a few of the websites your ad has the potential to appear on.

Similarly to Facebook In-Stream Videos, Audience Network In-Stream Video ads appear before, during or after video content that users are watching on a website within Facebook’s Audience Network. Audience Network Banners will typically be displayed either on the side of, under, in-between or above digital content you engage with on Facebook’s partner sites.

Rewarded video ads are an incredibly unique placements exclusive to gaming apps. These ads give people a reward in their game in exchange for watching your video ad.

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