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A Guide to Facebook and Instagram Ad Placements

Facebook and Instagram ad campaigns offer measurable and effective ways to reach your audience and meet your brand’s goals. When you create a new ad, you can either choose to run it across all eligible placements in Facebook, Instagram and the Audience Network, or manually select your preferred placements. Your selected objective will determine which placements you are able to use.

Here’s how it works:

In Facebook Ads Manager, choose your primary marketing objective within the three categories: Awareness, Consideration or Conversion. Each objective will prompt you with slightly different options; this example shows what a Brand Awareness ad campaign would look like.

Create a new audience, or use one you’ve saved from a previous campaign.

Choose between automatic placements – where ads are shown to your audience in the places where they’re predicted to perform the best, either on Facebook or on Instagram – or manually edited placements. Facebook recommends choosing automatic placements.

For marketers who want to select their own placements, Facebook advises these options, segmented by campaign objective:


  • Brand awareness (including Reach & Frequency buying): Facebook and Instagram
  • Engagement (including Reach & Frequency buying): Facebook and Instagram
  • Video views (including Reach & Frequency buying): Facebook, Instagram and Audience Network
  • App installs: Facebook, Instagram and Audience Network
  • Traffic (for website clicks and app engagement): Facebook and Audience Network
  • Product catalog sales: Facebook and Audience Network
  • Conversions: Facebook and Audience Network

Or larger-scale business goals:

  • Extending your campaign: Facebook, Instagram and Audience Network
  • Daily Unique Reach: Facebook, Instagram and Audience Network
  • Efficient Reach: Facebook, Instagram and Audience Network
  • Cross-platform Reach & Frequency: Facebook and Instagram
  • Additional Message Frequency: Facebook and Instagram

Set your budget, schedule and ad format to finalize the campaign.

Comparing the Different Ad Placements


Feeds (mobile and desktop)

Ads appear in the news feed for your audience on laptop/desktop computers and mobile devices. Since 1 billion people access Facebook via mobile every day, and mobile-only access is continuing to grow each quarter, mobile placement is particularly valuable.   

Right Column

Ads display on the right-hand columns across Facebook, for laptop or desktop audiences only. Because these ads aren’t placed directly in the news feed, they are noticeable without being too invasive.

Instant Articles

Instant Articles is a tool designed for media publishers to distribute articles to their audience within the Facebook mobile app and Messenger. When readers open an article, it loads on the Facebook platform up to 10 times faster than standard mobile web articles. Ads appear within content your audience has opted into reading in Instant Articles.  

In-Stream Video

Ads display as five to 15-second videos within both live and non-live videos on Facebook. In-stream video targeting is audience-based, so people watching the same video will be delivered different ads customized to their personal interests.

Instagram Feed & Stories

Ads appear to people using Instagram, which now has 600 million monthly users, on a supported mobile device, either directly in their feed or in their Stories. Ads within Stories are only eligible by using the Reach objective.

Audience Network
Ads have a greater reach outside Facebook, appearing on mobile apps, mobile websites, Instant Articles and videos.

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