Ad Formats

Facebook Ad Formats

Exhibit 14.10 Facebook’s ad formats.

Facebook supports a wide range of ad formats (Exhibit 14.10) that can serve a diverse range of communication objectives through use of video, images and/or text.

These formats are being standardized across the Facebook Inc. portfolio including Instagram and Messenger alongside Facebook, making it feasible to concurrently run and manage ad campaigns. Advertisers, for instance, can add Instagram ads to Facebook ad campaigns through the Ads Manager or the Power Editor by simply checking the “Instagram” box within the ad placement section.

The common formats include:


Facebook Photo Ad Format

Exhibit 14.11 Photo ad format (source: Facebook).

One of the simplest formats to use, photo (Exhibit 14.11) is best suited for generating traffic to a website and raising awareness of products.


Facebook Video Ad Format

Exhibit 14.12 Video ad format (source: Facebook).

Video ads (Exhibit 14.12) communicate with sight, sound and motion. They come in a range of lengths and styles – from short, feed-based ads that can be watched on the go, to longer videos that are better viewed at home, on the sofa.


Facebook Stories Ad Format

Exhibit 14.13 Stories ad format (source: Facebook).

Designed along the lines of Instagram stories, Facebook stories (Exhibit 14.13) impart an immersive vertical full screen experience, placed in the stories feed on mobile devices.

The maximum duration is 6 seconds for image and 15 seconds for videos.

They can generate traffic to website through call-to-actions (swipe up on trigger).


Facebook Carousel Ad Format

Exhibit 14.14 Carousel ad format (source: Facebook).

Carousel ads (Exhibit 14.14) constitute a collection of images or videos, referred to as cards. Advertisers may display up to ten cards, within a single ad, each with its own link.

They can highlight different products, highlight specific details about one product, service or promotion, or tell a story about their brand that develops across each carousel card.


Facebook Slideshow Ad Format

Exhibit 14.15 Slideshow ad format (source: Facebook).

Run as videos, slideshows ads (Exhibit 14.15) are easier and less expensive to create than videos. Moreover, since they use five times less data than videos, advertisers can use slideshow versions of video ads in markets where users have slower connections.


Facebook Collection Ad Format

Exhibit 14.16 Collection ad format (source: Facebook).

The collection ad format (Exhibit 14.16) is intended for people to browse and purchase products and services from a product catalogue, customised for each individual. The ad typically includes a cover image or video followed by several product images.


Facebook Messenger Ad Format

Exhibit 14.17 Messenger ad format (source: Facebook).

Best suited for the Messenger app, when users tap on a messenger ad (Exhibit 14.17) they are sent to a destination – whether a site, app or a conversation on Messenger. The destination is set at the time the ad is created.


Facebook Playable Ad Format

Exhibit 14.18 Playable ad format (source: Facebook).

A playable (Exhibit 14.18) is an interactive video ad for mobile app advertisers intended to drive users to install apps with a try-before-you-buy experience.

It commences with a lead-in video that plays as users scroll through their news feed. Overlaying the video is a game controller icon and a tap-to-try tip.

After tapping on the video, a short interactive demo lets users experience the app before they install it. When the demo is complete, a call-to-action lets people tap through to install the app from the App Store or Google Play Store.

Instant Experience (IX) (earlier called canvas)

Facebook Instant Experience (IX) (earlier called canvas) Ad Format

Exhibit 14.19 Instant experience (IX) ad format (source: Facebook).

Designed for mobile, IX or canvas (Exhibit 14.19) is an interactive format designed for marketers to tell their stories and showcase their products. Marketers can build their canvas using a combination of videos, images and call-to-action buttons. The format is designed so that people can swipe through a carousel of images, tilt the image in different directions, and/or zoom in or zoom out.


Facebook supports an automated bidding and optimization system called Optimized CPM (oCPM). The system analyses the data and optimizes the advertiser’s campaign delivery to only hit users who are more likely to complete the desired action.

A/B Testing

Facebook also supports automated A/B testing (aka split testing). This form of testing multiple ad variations is an effective way for advertisers to refine their content and improve a campaign’s performance.

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