10 Facebook Ad Units Explained


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Most people know that Facebook is the world’s largest social network. What they may not know is that Facebook is expected to generate over $2 billion in revenue from display advertising in 2011 and is on track to pass Yahoo! as the top online display-ad selling company in the U.S., according to a new study by eMarketer. According to the research, Facebook’s U.S. display-ad revenue will grow this year by 80.9% to $2.19 billion, giving it a projected 17.7% share of the market. Yahoo! will drop to an estimated 13.1% of the display-ad market from a leading 14.4% share in 2010. With so much money being invested in Facebook ads, I thought it would be helpful to take a look at the 10 different types of Facebook ads available to marketers today.

Facebook Ad Units

1. Page Ads are the most common ad type and are designed to drive fans to Facebook Pages. The ads are unique in that users can Like a page directly from the ad. When a user Likes the page, it’s listed beneath the ad for their friends to see.

2. Website Ads are similar to any other web advertisement. Clicking the ad takes you to the advertiser’s landing page or website. Website ads will look like Page ads without the Like button.

3. Event Ads are a great way to promote a sale, product promotion, trade show, webinar, or any event requiring a RSVP. Event ads are integrated with Facebook Events and include an “RSVP” call to action. When the RSVP is clicked, the event details are displayed, including the number of Facebook users and friends attending. Friends’ responses are visible beneath the ad after they have RSVP’d, and when a user says “yes” to attending, it will generate a newsfeed story within the user’s profile for all of their friends to see.


4. Sponsored Stories let marketers take social content and turn it into a marketing message. With sponsored stories an advertiser pays to have user interactions with their brand (Likes, Check-ins) show up on your friends’ pages while appearing in other paid promotions on the website. Sponsored stories are unique in that your content will never go to someone who is not your friend.


5. Video Ads allow advertisers to integrate video into an ad. The video and can be played inline, where people can share comments and Like the video. When someone likes the video or enters a comment, a newsfeed story will be generated for their friends to see. Video ads can only be purchased through Facebook’s internal sales team and are reserved for qualified advertisers with monthly budgets over $30,000 USD.

6. Application ads allow Facebook application developers to drive more engagement for their app by directing people to the app when they click on the ad.

7. Comment ads are Facebook’s newest ad unit and the first to be designed by an agency. Designed by Leo Burnett, the idea is that the ad looks like a conversation. With comments ads, the brand will make a statement or pose a question, and a comment box is available so the user can enter a response.When users respond to the question, the exchange shows up as a part of their newsfeed, thereby moving the conversation through the individuals’ social network. Comment ads can only be purchased by qualified advertisers through Facebook’s internal sales team.

 8. Polling ads lets advertisers start conversations by conducting polls. People who respond can see how others voted and how each of their friends voted in the poll. The poll generates a story on the advertiser’s page, and can appear in newsfeed of the users who liked the brand. When a user engages with the ad, the poll story can appear on the user’s wall and in their friends’ newsfeeds. Polling ads are not available through Facebook’s self service tool. Polling ads can only be purchased by qualified advertisers through Facebook’s internal sales team.

 9.Gift ads are used to drive visitors to pages within and outside of Facebook. It allows users to send a gift to a friend within Facebook, along with a custom message. Messages are public and can appear on the user’s page, as well as in their friends’ newsfeeds. Gift Ads can only by purchased by qualified advertisers through Facebook’s internal sales team.


 10.Hybrid engagement ads combine different ad types, such as a video ad with a polling ad, or a video ad with an event ad. Hybrid ads can only by purchased by qualified advertisers through Facebook’s internal sales team.

You may also see Facebook house ads, which are used by Facebook to backfill inventory with ads that promote Facebook features. The list of Facebook ad units will undoubtedly change over time as the platform evolves. Do you have an idea for a new Facebook ad unit? Please share your ideas in the comments section below.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

David Corr
David Corr is a Marketing Director at Contech Engineered Solutions. He is an experienced marketing executive that helps organizations build awareness, generate leads, and engage their target audience. David has a rich work history that encompasses all aspects of BtoB marketing included sales, sales training, product management, marketing operations, branding, and communications. David holds Bachelor Degrees in Business Administration and Political Science from the University of Rhode Island, and an MBA from the University of Dayton.


  1. Hi David,
    I’d like to know how to create Polling Ads?

    The page and website ads I know well, but that other type I don’t.
    So could you please help me?


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