A Guide to Facebook Ad Placements

When you launch an ad campaign with Facebook, it will automatically show your ads across all possible placements within its variety of networks. Allowing you to reach the maximum number of potential people.

Great, right? Well not quite—it depends on your answers to a couple of key questions:

Do you want your ads to display across all placements? These placements will include Facebook and Instagram apps and websites and apps that are external to Facebook. In addition, some of these placements may not be optimal for certain campaign objectives. Therefore, with a better understanding of each ad placement, you may want to be more selective in where you show your ads to optimize your spend.

Do you want to be in control of your bidding strategy? The amount you pay (CPM or CPC) varies greatly from placement to placement. For example, Desktop Newsfeed is generally more expensive than Mobile Newsfeed. Therefore if you want control over your bidding strategy, you don’t want to select all placements and add them into one ad set together. With Adgo, we allow you to select each placement you want to use and then split them into separate ad sets. This enables you control your bidding strategy for each one.

With the above questions in mind, let’s run through what each ad placement actually means.


Desktop Feed

The Desktop Feed placement will display your ad in users’ Facebook Newsfeeds on desktop or laptop devices.

Right Hand Column

The Right Hand Column placement will display your ads on the right-side columns across Facebook. These columns only appear to people browsing Facebook on their desktop or laptop devices.

Mobile Feed

The Mobile Feed placement will display your ad in users’ Facebook Newsfeeds on mobile devices. This will be active to users browsing Facebook via the mobile app or a mobile web browser.

Instant Articles

The Instant Articles placement will display your ad within Facebook’s Instant Articles on the Facebook mobile app and Facebook Messenger. Instant Articles is a feature that allows publishers to publish their stories within Facebook’s mobile app, enabling them faster load times and higher engagement rates. Choosing this placement will mean your ad displays within a publisher’s article.


The Messenger placement will display your ads within the Facebook Messenger app and can lead people to your website, app or Facebook Messenger. This ad placement should not be confused with using Facebook Messenger as a destination for your ad. If using it as a destination, you are leading people to open a Messenger conversation with you (and this can be done be advertising on multiple placements).




The Instagram Feed placement will display your ad in the Newsfeed on Instagram. This will mainly be displayed on mobile, within either the Instagram app on anyone accessing the website on a mobile browser, but will also display on desktop devices to anyone accessing Instagram through a web browser on a desktop or laptop.


The Instagram Stories placement will display your ads within users’ Instagram Stories. These can either be one photo or a video of up to 15 seconds and you can only use vertical images and videos (ratio 9:16) to use this placement.

Audience Network

The Audience Network placement will display your ads on mobile apps and websites external to Facebook. This allows you to extend your reach beyond those just browsing Facebook apps, but you won’t get control of the content your ads are displayed alongside.

There are three types of ads that display on the Audience Network.




Targeting, Objectives and Creatives

All ad placements above allow you to use the same basic demographic, interest and behavioural targeting. You'll also be able to include additional targeting depending on what devices you are advertising on. For example, desktop placements will allow you to target users based on web browser or operating system and mobile placements will allow you to target users based on mobile device or operating system.

Some ad placements will only be available with certain campaign objectives however. In addition, some ad placements will require different sized creatives—for images, these prerequisites include aspect ratio and pixel size and for video, also include the file size and length of time of the video.

For more details on the parameters of each ad placement for each campaign objective, please review these Facebook guidelines.


Where your ad is displayed will have an impact on what it looks like and what ad text is included. It will also mean your ad may be displayed on websites and apps external to Facebook. These are both things that are important for advertisers to consider when it comes to creating and launching campaigns.

In addition the cost and performance of running ads on different placements can vary a lot. Some ad objectives will perform better on one placement than another and some ad placements will have higher CPC or CPM than others.

If you want control over where you ads are displayed and your bidding strategy for each placement then Facebook’s Automatic Placements option won’t cut it. A platform like Adgo will give you control over what ad placements you use and allow you to create different bidding strategies for each placement.