10 Things to Know About Facebook Canvas Ads

Facebook's new canvas ad feature allows brands to offer users a completely immersive mobile experience. 

Facebook's new canvas ad feature allows brands to offer users a completely immersive mobile experience. 

By Andrew Minucci

When Likeable Media speaks to marketers about what they want to accomplish on social media, the answer is inevitably always the same. They want to tell their brand story.

Until now, storytelling ability has been somewhat limited on Facebook as marketers need to tell their story in one post and struggle to find the best outlet (Is it an album post? Video post? Photo post? Link post? etc.). However, this is all about to change as Facebook unveils the most exciting piece of advertising inventory since the debut of ads manager itself!

Here are the top 10 things you need to know about Facebook Canvas Ads

1. They Appear in the News Feed Similar to a Link Post

When a user clicks through, the canvas ad will open on their screen. This is welcome news as users will voluntarily be engaging with this new immersive experience.

2. They Are Only Available on Mobile

That's right. There is no desktop option. It's optimized to work on mobile platforms.

3. When the User Clicks Through to the Canvas Ad, Your Brand Content Will Take Over the Entire Mobile Screen

This is unprecedented advertising inventory for brands! Users will have the ability to click out of the ad at any time. 

4. Canvas Ads Support Six Types of Media

Those six types are photos, tilt-to-pan images, video, carousel, text and buttons. Included in video is Facebook’s new 360 capabilities! See below for specs.

5. The Metrics are New

“Average view time” and “average percent viewed” are metrics specific to canvas ads that Facebook will report on.  

6: Canvas Ads Have the Ability to Host a Product Feed

Now e-commerce brands can have customers convert within the ad set. 

7: Canvas Ads Can Take Advantage of the Wide Array of Facebook Ad Objectives

This includes app installs and mobile Web link clicks. 

8: There is No Minimum Media Spend for These Ad Sets

Nevertheless, given the creative investment they require, brands should budget an appropriate spend. 

9: Canvas Ads Scroll From Top to Bottom

However, the ad inventory supports creative that goes left to right such as Tilt-to-pan images and carousel ads. 

10: Video is More Captivating

Unlike the traditional news feed, Carousel Ads will autoplay videos with sound and on loop.

Facebook Canvas Ads will be available to all brands at the beginning of March 2016. How will your brand take advantage of this new inventory?

Canvas Ad Specs* 

Ad Unit (What appears in the News Feed)

  • Recommended image size: 1,200 x 628 pixels 
  • Image ratio: 1.9:1 
  • Post text: 90 characters 
  • Headline: 45 characters 
  • “Tap to Open” CTA: Added by Facebook, non-customizable 

Photos

Images use the full width of the screen by default) 
Full width image is 1080 px @3x. 
Full height image: 1920 @ 3x. 
Images have two sizing options: 

  • “Fit to width” ensures the image is the full width and allows for variable height. 
  • “Fit to height” forces the image to fill the screen top to bottom. If the image bleeds off the left and right edges, the image will have the “Tilt-to-pan” behavior (see below).

.png and .jpg file types are supported
Facebook recommends using video instead of .gif images 

Tilt-To-Pan

  • This feature allows a user to tilt the phone to the left or right toreveal more of the image. To enable this, select the ‘Fit-to-height’ option in the Photo component of the Create Tool.
  • While the image can scale up to 5x the width of the screen (5400px), we recommend 3x (3240px) for performance and usability.
  • Image starts centered.
  • The image is always 100% of the screen height (1920px).

Video

  • Videos are automatically set to loop 
  • Videos should be a minimum 720 p 
  • Multiple videos are supported, however the total of all videos must be less than 2 minutes in length 
  • Build for portrait. Video will resize for landscape and play just the video pack in the pillar box. 
  • First frame of the video is the poster frame, or thumbnail 

Carousel

  • Images in carousels use the full width of the screen by default 
  • There are a max of 10 images per carousel 
  • Images can be full height or just partial height 
  • If you want text to h-scroll with the images, you will need to render the type in the image. To make the text appear to be separate from the photo, you can render the text on a solid color background with the same image area as the photo
  • The pagination dots always appear along the bottom edge of the image. A light gray gradient is added to the bottom edge of the carousel images to provide contract for the pagination dots.

Text

  • Canvas units can have multiple blocks of text up to 500 words each. The text will be displayed against a background color set by the theme (white, dark gray).
  • Font face: Serif, sans serif
  • Font size: 6-72pt
  • Font color: #rrggbb
  • Alignment: Left, center, right
  • Font style: Bold, italic, underline, applies to whole block not individual words

Buttons

  • Each Canvas must have 1 or more CTAs. CTAs are button that link to external URLs.
  • Buttons can either be filled with color or outlined with the background color showing through.
  • 48px high
  • 30 character limit
  • 48px padding top and bottom
  • Font: Serif, sans serif
  • Font color
  • Fill color or outline color

*Canvas ad specs provided by Facebook. For more information visit canvas.facebook.com