Facebook Ad Guidelines – What You Need to Know

Facebook Ad Guidelines – What You Need to Know

It’s remarkably simple to generate 1000s of leads from a great Fb ad. However, you need to know your target audience, how to find them on-line, and promote something people will actually want. And to really enhance your revenue, you need to be able to retarget those leads, over and over again, to heighten the chances that each one will result in a sale.

But even with all these things in place, you’re losing out in a big way if your ads do not come across in the way you plan. You may use hours designing the right logo or graphic design to show your brand, only to later realize that uploaded it in the wrong size.

Since Fb posts with images see 2.3X more engagement than those without, you could lose out on 100s of leads if your images are pixelated & blurred or your copy does not engage your leads.

Just as, you want to know the limits imposed on ad copy by the Fb formats, so that you can develop the core message of your branding & marketing activities to fit within them; You need to understand how to format your video clips to ensurethey’re viewed in the best quality possible, without taking so many minutes to load that your target audience gives up watching.

In this simple, comprehensive guide, we tell you exactly what you need to know about the Fb guidelines for 2019 to create the perfect ad, in any format. We guide you through the key elements you need to know to make your Fb ads work with your copy, your images, and your video, not the other way round.

Here are the Fb guidelines for each format, and how they affect the way you write and design your ads:

Single Image Ad Guidelines

(Source: blog.bufferapp.com)

The Single Image advert is the trusty steed of the Fb advertising world. It’s the most versatile as it can be combined with almost any objective. It’s been around a long time, unlike some of the newer additions to the ad format selection. But it’s also effective. Single Image ads look very similar as regular newsfeed posts from friends, so they can help businesses connect with audiences in more informal ways.


(Source: jamieehelm.com)

  • Size: 1,200 x 628 pixels
  • Ratio: 1.91:1
  • File type: jpg or png

Fb recommends using images that have minimal overlaid text. However, text in your images can help to build brand consistency along with your ad copy. Such as, if the message of your ad can be expressed in a hashtag, why not fill the static Single Image space with some call-to-action copy resounding your key-phrases, just like Maybelline did in their viral #NOFILTER campaign.


(Source: www.wordstream.com)

  • Text: 90 characters
  • Headline: 25 characters
  • Link description: 30 characters

There are plenty of people on Fb for you to target with your ads. But sending ads out there into a sea of worldwide users is like looking for customers in your brick-and-mortar store blindfolded. And it will not get you a load of conversions. The reason Fb has the best social targeting system of any platform is it enables you to get super specific about the kind of people you want to view your ads.

Here are just a lot of the ways you can target your ads on Facebook:

  • Custom audiences – target existing customers or subscribers
  • Location – target by location (country/city/state)
  • Gender – target by gender (male/female)
  • Interest – target by interest (such as health/fashion/literature)

If you’re using interest-based targeting, one of the most powerful ways of advertising to niche, untapped audiences, match your copy to your targets. Think about the kind of culture the people who tends to buy your product or service are within. What music do they like? What other, similar brands to yours might they previously follow? And speak directly to them.

Please note:

Under the following 2 objectives, the image guidelines for Single Image ads are different. For all other Single Image ads, the details above still apply.

Promote your page:

  • Size: 1,200 x 444 pixels
  • Image ratio: 8:3

Increase app engagement:

  • Image ratio: 16:9

Carousel Ad Guidelines

(Source: blog.bufferapp.com)

The Carousel ad is good if you’ve multiple products you want to promote simultaneously, and even better if these items are closely related to each other & targeted to the same audience. The more niche your items, the more niche, untapped audiences you’ll be able to generate to get them in front of. Use video or images to grab people’s attention and get them scrolling through your products.


(Source: facebook.com)

  • Number of Images: Up to 10
  • Image size: 1,080 x 1,080 pixels
  • Image ratio: 1:1 (square)
  • File type: jpg or png

If you want to build brand awareness, the square images in these ads can be used with high-quality, clean, symmetrical product images that users can scroll through. Or, use them to tell your product’s story, showcasing multiple features like Mini did in the mobile campaign above.


(Source: www.facebook.com)

  • Number of Videos: Up to 10
  • Format: mov or mp4
  • Aspect ratio: 1:1 (square)
  • Resolution: 720p
  • File size: 2.3 GB (max)
  • Fb length: 60 minutes max
  • Instagram length: 60 seconds max
  • Thumbnail image size: 1,080 x 1,080 pixels
  • Thumbnail image ratio: Aspect ratio of video

Video Carousel ads are perfectly best for a cross-campaign with your Instagram account. But remember, the Instagram video limit is One minute – deliver your message before time runs out. The campaign above from Target used the Carousel ad format to expand the horizontal width of a scene. By using video clips that, side-by-side, make a swipeable panorama of a single backdrop, Target was able to show the primary character in the ad moving from one part of the scene to the next, across a number of videos showcasing various products. This novel use of the format encourages users to swipe through the carousel to find out where the character is heading next and what she’ll do.


(Source: 3qdigital.com)

  • Text: 90 characters
  • Headline: 40 characters
  • Description: 20 characters

Your Carousel ad text should tell users what they’ll gain from exploring your carousel further. There’s no point in using a Carousel ad, if you only target the first piece of content, product, or video in the series. Whether it is a sale on a particular collection, an interlinked series of short documentary video clips, or a series of lessons broken up into stages, give potential customers a reason to scroll through the whole series. Use your copy to tell them what they’ll get from swiping through.

You could even use copy overlayed onto images in your carousel to highlight a particular core message you need to get across. Simple, large, bold copy, on a bright background, just like that used by 3Q Digital in the campaign above, can really grab attention among reams of other busy, design-heavy graphics & glossy photos.

Please note:

Use this ad type with every objective except: enhance your posts, promote your page, reach people near your internet business, raise attendance at your event, and video views. If you need to run a Carousel ad using the video views objective, you will only be able to use videos in your ad. And if you are using the app engagement and offer claim objectives, Fb will only allow you to use images in your Carousels.

Single Video Ad Guidelines

(Source: blog.bufferapp.com)

Users watch One hundred million hours of video on Fb each day. Single Video ads are prime chances for you to entertain and engage your clients in more immersive ways. They can be used to showcase your brand name and it’s story to customers, or explore a product or products in detail, following a more traditional, hard-sell, promotional approach. Whatever you want to encourage your users to do, use high-quality video that translates well on mobile, and ensure your video clips have captions to optimize them for “sound off” contexts (85% of video is watched without the sound – do not lose out on those leads).


(Source: socialmediaexaminer.com)

  • Format: mov or mp4
  • Aspect ratio: 16:9
  • Resolution: 720p
  • File size: 2.3 GB max
  • Facebook length: Two hours max
  • Instagram length: A minute max
  • Thumbnail image size: 1,200 x 675 pixels
  • Thumbnail image ratio: Aspect ratio of video
  • Caption length text: 2,200 characters max

Short, human interest stories do very well on Fb. Content aggregators such as George Takei & 60 Second Docs are just 2 examples of how human interest stories can successfully make an emotional connection with audiences & generate a community of interested followers. Internet marketers are starting to realize the power of short video documentaries in Fb ads. UPS were early to get in on the human-interest-documentary game, with ads such as the one above highlighting the impact of their ongoing support for U.S. veterans. This campaign did a wonderful job of generating support, trust, and awareness for the brand (and just look at how much engagement this post created!!).


(Source: www.yesandyes.org)

  • Text: 90 characters
  • Headline: 25 Characters
  • Link description: 30 characters

Videos are often set to autoplay on mobile devices & some browsers. But this does not happen with every device, so you can not let your videos speak on their own. The campaign above from Marie Forleo draws users into watching the video with it’s copy. Using a quote from your video tutorial, documentary, or ad creates brand consistency & gets users wanting to get more info. Summarizing the main message of your video in the form of a question demands involvement, and finishing with a call-to-action such as “Read more” or “Share it!” is a good way to tell users exactly how to benefit from your ad.

Please note:

These ads work with every objective except for product catalog promotion.

Slideshow Ad Guidelines

(Source: bufferapp.com)

The slideshow ad type enables you to make a video slideshow with up to 10 images included. It can be a simple way to produce a narrative ad without having to pour loads of effort and time into video production.


(Source: cpcstrategy.com)

  • Image size: 1,280 x 720 pixels
  • Image ratio: 16:9, 1:1 or 2:3
  • Video upload format: mov or mp4 file types

You need to use these ads to make a story, even if this is hashed out in only a couple of images. Do not put random product images together to create a slideshow of what you want users to buy. Create visually stunning images in series, just like you would with a Carousel ad, taking your audience from one logical step to the next. Whether it is a series of photos honing in on the particulars of a single product, or shots of a luxury product from multiple angles, use Slideshow ads to make a connection between different images like you would in a storyboard.


(Source: cpcstrategy.com)

  • Text: 90 characters
  • Headline: 25 characters
  • Description: 30 characters

Because of the narrative nature of slideshow ads, they can be very useful for explaining complex processes, just like how to use an app. Advertising apps with video slideshows instead of HD videos means people need less bandwidth to see what those apps can perform. Your copy should complement these slideshows by telling people the reasons they need to watch them. Use action-verbs at the beginning of your sentences so the imperative to “do” – to down load your app or use a new feature – is the first thing to enter potential customers’ minds. In the DoubleDown Slots and Poker ad above, they went for “Play,” but other action-words such as “Read,” “Watch,” and “Subscribe” are also effective at presenting clear, persuasive messages to users that encourage them to take action.

Please Note:

Try to use images that are all the same dimensions. If you use pictures of different sizes, your slideshow will get cropped to a 1:1 square. Video ads are available for every objective except product catalog promotion.

Canvas Ad Guidelines

(Source: facebook.com)

Canvas ads are the latest kids on the block. They are only available on mobile phone devices, but they allow you to create highly engaging mobile ads. When people tap on a Canvas ad, they are taken into a full-screen experience where they can interact with your branded content. Video-heavy content is great for this placement chance, with the ability to really show off your business’ signature style in a fully-immersive way.

Canvas ads are made of multiple customizable elements:

  • Ad unit
  • Photos
  • Tilt-to-pan images
  • Video
  • Carousel
  • Text block
  • Buttons
  • Header

(Source: bufferapp.com)

But you do not have to use every element available to you when you build your Fb Canvas ads. Be creative. Within a single second, more video will travel across the internet than you could watch in almost 2 yrs of doing nothing else. That does not mean people will watch until the end. Only use the elements available to you that will best convey the core message you want to get across. Many users won’t watch a video for more than around 15 seconds. What message will you send about your brand of these precious moments to portray it in the best light?

(Source: blog.timeuniversal.vn)

The Ad Unit

(Source: jrenn.com)

  • Text: 90 characters
  • Headline: 45 characters
  • Description: 30 characters
  • Image size: 1,200 x 628 pixels
  • Image ratio: 1.9:1
  • Video format: mov or mp4
  • Video aspect ratio: 16:9 or 1:1

The ad unit is what people will see in their News Feed.


(Source: reshiftmedia.com)

File types: png and jpg

Number of images: Up to 20 photos

Image sizes & ratios:

Fit to width (linkable):

  • Image width: 1,080 pixels
  • Image ratio: Full width of screen by default

Fit to width (tap-to-expand):

  • Image height: 1,080 pixels (minimum)
  • Image ratio: Full width of screen by default

Fit to height (tilt-to-pan):

  • Image height: 1,920 pixels
  • Image width: between 3,240 & 5,400 px (3-5x width of screen)

A Canvas ad photo is a full-screen image aimed to produce stunning HD experiences.

Please note:

Canvas photos come in 3 different aspect ratios – each of which rely on different guidelines for sizing. A full-width image is 1,080 pixels but you can use wider images if you choose the fit-to-height option. A full-height image is 1,920 pixels tall however you can use a taller image if you select the fit-to-width option. With the tilt-to-pan option you can upload photos that are wider than the screen – people can then tilt their phone to pan through the image from side to side.


(Source: instapage.com)

  • Format: mov or mp4
  • Length: under 2 minutes
  • Resolution: at least 720p
  • Orientation: portrait
  • Thumbnail: first frame of video

The video element of the Canvas ad allows you to create fullscreen, engaging video content to be displayed on your users’ mobile phone devices.

Take note:

Landscape-oriented videos automatically resize to portrait with Canvas ads.


(Source: guptamedia.com)

  • Size: 1,080 pixels max width, 1,920 pixels max height
  • Ratio: Images can be full or partial height but must be the same size
  • File type: png or jpg
  • Number of images: Up to 10

This component enables you to upload 2-10 images displayed in fullscreen, carousel-style format. Each item in the carousel can be linked to a different page, and your target audience can scroll through each page on their mobile device to interact.

Take note:

Use the same dimensions for all the images you display in your Carousel. If your photos are different sizes, they will get cropped to match the first image. Images in the Carousel component of Canvas Ads use the full width of the screen by default.

Text block

(Source: wordstream.com)

  • Character limit: 500 characters max
  • Font size: 6-72 point
  • Font color: #rrggbb
  • Font style: Bold, italic or underlined (can only be applied to the whole text block, not individual phrases or words)
  • Font alignment: Left, center, or right
  • Font options: Serif or Sans Serif

Use this component to make a block of text to help add context & tell people more about your product or brand.


(Source: addodigital.co)

  • Height: 48 pixels
  • Text: 30 characters max
  • Options: Serif or Sans Serif

Each Canvas ad must have at least one call-to-action button, which can be linked out to an external URL.


(Source: degordian.com)

  • Image size: 66 pixels (max height) x 882 pixels (max width)
  • File type: png

The header component enables you to add a bar to the peak of the screen displaying your logo or brand name, so users will always know that the good content they’re experiencing comes from you.

Going Forward

As you begin to craft your Fb ads you’ll need to begin thinking about how you will reach the right audience and get them to convert. Interest-based targeting is a good feature of the Fb ad system. But most people are using Facebook to advertise too.

Just because somebody clicks to “follow” a business or media outlet covering issues & themes that your product addresses, it doesn’t mean that they are not already being targeted by 1000s of other businesses in your niche – and possibly with better ad campaigns and higher ad spend.

Using Connect Explore, you can see precisely how each interest is currently performing, find other profitable interests related to your keywords, and narrow down your targeting to the interest-groups that have already shown high engagement on the Fb platform. Only pay for ads that is going to be displayed to the most promising leads to reduce ad spend and increase the likelihood of converting each lead you target into making a sale. Click the link to see exactly what the Connect Explore software could do for you.

Use the guidelines we’ve given you in this post to create stunning ads that really stand out to your audience, then use Connect Explore to target the right people for the highest returns on your ad spend.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply