Facebook Canvas Ads

Facebook Canvas ads is a special form of advertising that advertisers can book with Facebook. The ads are very immersive and look like a kind of mobile optimized landing page. This means that the user sees very detailed, coherent, interactive, and multifunctional ads. The special feature of Facebook Canvas is its sole focusing on mobile devices. Canvas ads are therefore part of mobile advertising.


Facebook launched the “Canvas ads” for all advertisers in the social network on February 28, 2016. Companies have the opportunity, for example, to engage in storytelling or to advertise new products specifically on Facebook. The ads are played in the newsfeed of the target group. Such ads are subject to the same conditions as other advertising formats on Facebook.

Facebook Canvas was introduced already a year earlier. Companies were particularly recommended to promote products in a native environment on Facebook. At the same time, users were to have the opportunity to purchase the advertised products directly via Facebook.[1] In September 2015 there were final tests with selected companies.[2]

The mobile use of the Internet is growing steadily. With Canvas Ads, Facebook has expanded its offer for advertisers who want to target mobile users specifically. Facebook introduced the second innovation for mobile websites in 2015, after already having presented its Instant Articles in May. [3]

With the introduction of the Canvas Ads, it became clear that large Internet groups are increasingly targeting mobile users. For example, Google introduced the AMP project in 2015, which allows Internet sites to be loaded immediately with mobile devices.


Facebook Canvas Ads are characterized by the following features:

  • Available for mobile devices only
  • Display advertising only in apps for iOS or Android
  • Different formats possible
  • Carousel display for pictures possible
  • Integration of pictures, videos or buttons
  • Advertising is possible with the usual Facebook advertising account
  • Change of advertising format after publication is no longer possible
  • Integration of VR elements in the form of 360-degree video possible
  • Instant loading of the page
  • Screen-filling display on smartphones

How it works[edit]

To create Facebook Canvas ads, advertisers use the “Canvas Editor” found in the “Publishing Tools.” This is an online-based design program for the design of the advertising media.

As with all other Facebook ads, advertisers can configure targeting based on selected criteria. In order for the ad to appear in the timeline of the selected users, a bid must be placed. Various billing options are available. Since September 2016, Canvas ads can also be linked to other Canvas pages on Facebook. It is also possible to integrate 360-degree video to achieve virtual reality.


With the help of the Canvas Editor you can select different formats and media, which are used for the ads. Editing is possible at any time during creation. But after the ad has been placed, no more changes can be made to it.


A maximum of 20 images can be used in a Canvas ad. These can be both JPEG and PNG files. Further specifications:

  • The maximum image width is 1.080, the maximum height is 1,920 pixels.
  • Larger images can be used when the “Fit to height - tilt top on” option is selected.
  • There are different image options, which can be used to adjust the image to the user’s screen size, such as height or width.
  • Images can be presented as carousels with a maximum of 10 images. All images must be the same size. Below the roundabout, periods are displayed which show the user where he is in the carousel. These period symbols cannot be changed.


The maximum resolution of videos is 720 pixels. Any number of videos can be integrated into a Canvas ad. However, the total playing time of the videos must not exceed two minutes. Further requirements:

  • Autoplay is only allowed for one of the inserted videos.
  • The first image of the inserted video is used as the first still image.
  • The portrait format is recommended for videos, since panorama formats are automatically converted into a portrait format and thus image area is wasted.


The Canvas ad can be provided with a header. You can use images in PNG format with a maximum resolution of 66 x 882 pixels. The image must also be transparent.


The maximum height of buttons is 48 pixels. Below and above each button, a spacing of 48 pixels is inserted automatically to avoid restriction of usability. A button can have up to 30 characters in the Serif or Sans-Serif fonts. Color highlighting or borders are possible.


Texts are inserted into a Canvas ad in the form of blocks. Each block can contain a maximum of 500 words. Each Canvas ad cannot contain more than 1,000 words in total. The alignment of the text elements can be centered or left/right justified. Further requirements:

  • Serif and Sans-Serif fonts can be used.
  • Bold, italic, or underlining is only possible for an entire block, but not for single words.

Benefits for social media marketing[edit]

Facebook Canvas Ads offer advertisers extensive design possibilities. They can be used as small landing pages, on which whole stories can be told. That is why Canvas ads are often used for storytelling. At the same time, the carousel display or video presentation can also be used for direct sales of products. By targeting mobile devices, users can access Canvas ads wherever they are located at the time. According to Facebook, 10 times faster loading[4] of conventional mobile websites, ensures that the user experience is not affected with Canvas ads by long loading times.


  1. Shopping on Facebook facebook.com Retrieved on December 16, 2016
  2. First Look: Facebook Starts Testing Immersive Mobile Ads marketingland.com Posted on December 16, 2016
  3. Introducing Facebook Instant Articles media.fb.com Posted on December 16, 2016
  4. Facebook Canvas facebook.com Posted on December 16, 2016