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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Facebook Ad Placements

If you’ve spent any amount of time looking into Facebook advertising, you’ve likely seen just how many different ways ads can appear on the platform. From Facebook Story ads to Marketplace ads, the number of ad types (called “placements”) can be overwhelming (to say the least).

We’ve been there, too — that’s why we’ve put together this helpful guide to the different types of Facebook ads.  Knowledge is power, and by the end of this guide, you’ll have the tools you need to dive right into building Facebook ads that deliver!


In-feed ads

In-feed ads are pretty self-explanatory. They appear as someone is scrolling through their Facebook newsfeed, and look like any other post they’d see there. They usually feature a headline, an image, a short piece of body copy, and a call to action (CTA). After people click your ad, they’ll go to a landing page or website of your choice. Users can like, comment, and engage with the ad as they would with organic content.

Instant articles

A screenshot of an Instant Article on Facebook.
A screenshot of an Instant Article on Facebook. Credit:

Instant articles are content-basedads that, when clicked, take a user to the full text of the chosen article. These ads are perfect if you happen to have a shiny new blog post at your disposal. By directing people to your blog with an ad, you’ll expand your reach, leading to greater awareness overall.

In-stream video

A screenshot of an in-stream video on Facebook.
A screenshot of the in-stream video ad placement. Credit:

Third, we come to in-stream video ads. Think of these ads like commercial breaks – your ad will be shown in the middle of a piece of “high value” video content. These ads are relatively new, and they’re part of Facebook’s semi-recent focus on boosting the reach and visibility of video content.

Right column ads

A screenshot of a Facebook right column ad.
A screenshot of a Facebook feed with the right column ad highlighted. Credit:

Next up are right column ads, which have been around since the dawn of Facebook advertising. Right column ads are easy to put together, consisting only of a small image and a few words of post copy.

Suggested video

A suggested video placement on Facebook. Credit:

If you’ve spent any time watching video content on Facebook (and let’s be real, who hasn’t), you’ve likely seen the “suggested videos” that pop up at the end of the content you were watching. However, these are actually a paid placement, with the built-in advantage of an audience that’s already engaged.

Marketplace ads

A screenshot of Marketplace ads for household goods.
A screenshot of Marketplace ads for household goods. Credit:

Next, we have Marketplace ads. Marketplace is one of Facebook’s newest functions that allows people to buy and sell pretty much anything. Ads placed here will show up between items listed for sale, meaning that this placement makes the most sense if you’re trying to get your target audience to buy something directly through your ad.

Facebook Stories

Two side-by-side screenshots of a Facebook Story ad.

Facebook Stories are the mobile-optimized, full-screen video ads that users see as they’re watching the feed of their Stories. As a result, Facebook Story campaigns see relatively high engagement, and they’re great for driving brand awareness.



Like in-feed Facebook ad placements, these are the ads you’ve likely seen every time you scroll down your Instagram newsfeed. They’re just as easy to customize as traditional organic posts, but they’ve got a CTA, and they link to an external website or landing page. For instance, these ads can include a single image, a carousel (multiple images), a video, or some combination of those three types of media.

In addition, these ads feature a “light up” CTA. After hovering over an ad for a long enough period of time, the CTA will highlight itself, urging the viewer to engage with your ad.


An example of a successful Instagram Story ad.

Instagram Story ads are remarkably similar to Facebook Story ads. For instance, both ad types feature full-screen short videos that appear as a user is watching the feed of their Stories.


Inbox Ads

A screenshot of an expanded Facebook Messenger ad.
A screenshot of a Messenger Inbox ad. Credit:

With Inbox Ads, users will be shown a full-sized ad in their inbox, similar to an ad you’d see in-feed. However, these ads are distinct in their look and feel when compared to in-feed ads.

Sponsored Messages

A screenshot of a Facebook user's inbox, with Sponsored message at the top.
The sponsored message here is at the top of this user’s inbox. Credit:

These ads will show up like a message in a user’s inbox, encouraging them to reply and contact the brand.  When users open that “message,” they’ll encounter a short piece of copy and a CTA.


A screenshot of a rewarded video ad, placed through Facebook's Audience Network.
A screenshot of a rewarded video ad, placed through Facebook’s Audience Network. Credit:
An ad for a pair of shoes placed via Facebook Audience Network. Credit:

Finally, Facebook gives advertisers the option to advertise with the Facebook Audience Network. The audience network is made up of apps and websites participating in Facebook’s advertising program. Think of the ads that come up while you’re playing your favorite mobile game. They may look like they were designed specifically for the place they show up online, but they’re often part of Facebook’s Audience network. In other words, by including Audience Network placements, you can show your ad to people who aren’t even on Facebook, widening your potential reach.

In conclusion, there’s a Facebook ad for any situation. So what are you waiting for? Get online and start experimenting with the Facebook Ad placements that work best for you.

By The Disclosure
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