Facebook ad specs and image sizes explained [fully updated]

New to all this? Start with our guide to social media marketing.

Are you advertising on Facebook? If you’re not, then you should be.

One of every five minutes that Americans spend on mobile is on Facebook or Instagram—which is owned by Facebook. So it’s a huge opportunity for your business.

But Facebook marketing also an expense. So it’s crucial to get your ad specs spot on. If you serve up something that looks messy, unprofessional, or hastily put together, then people will tune it out.

How hard can it be?

Well, there are six different ad types. And all need different specs of images and videos depending on their format and placement—newsfeed, Messenger app, and so on.

So let’s make sure you get your Facebook ad specs and images sizes right.

→ Also important to get right: your Facebook event photo size.

Your audience probably looks at a screen like this every day. Photo credit: Tim Bennett.

The most up-to-date Facebook ad specs

The first thing you need to know: Facebook ad sizes and requirements change often. And the dimensions also change depending on ad format and where you want it to appear.

Because of these frequent changes, the best place to find the most up-to-date info is directly from Facebook.

So for each of the six Facebook ad formats below, we give you a direct link to Facebook’s up-to-date technical details. And we also highlight some general design specs to keep in mind.

Read on for sizes, specs, and beginners tips to Facebook ads.

Such great info, if only it didn't change so damn often.

1
Image

The Image format is pretty straightforward. Just make sure you stick to the guidelines:

  • Facebook’s current Image ad specs here
  • JPG or PNG file type. Note: GIFs should be added as a Video format
  • 9:16 to 16:9 ratio
  • The highest-resolution available
  • Include less than 20% text, with the text having a limit of 125 characters

The only exceptions to this are ads that appear as Instagram Stories, as these have their own requirements.

It’s worth noting that if you upload an image that’s different to the recommended spec, it’ll be automatically resized to fit the ad.

Facebook also doesn’t support animated or flash images, but does support panoramic or 360-degree pictures.

→ Ads aren’t the only way to do Facebook marketing. Have you tried using social media quizzes?

2
Video

The video format is designed with mobile devices in mind, so Facebook recommends choosing a vertical ratio.

Facebook video ratio size guide.

Facebook recommends that you “upload the highest-resolution source video available without letter or pillar boxing (no black bars).”

And while most file types are supported, it does specify a preferred type:

H.264 compression, square pixels, fixed frame rate, progressive scan, and stereo AAC audio compression at 128+ kbps.

The other general Facebook video ad specs are:

Note that thumbnail images should include less than 20% text, with a limit of 125 characters.

→ Using Facebook to get more leads? Try our Facebook lead generation template.

3
Collection

Collection ads give potential customers a chance to get to know your product in a more interactive way. Normally this type of ad includes a cover image or video, followed by a number of other images.

In general, you should include the following for Collection ads:

Collection ads—for storytelling and product showcasing.

4
Canvas

This brings us to the next type of ads: Canvas. When you click on a Collection ad, you go straight to the Canvas “experience.”

This is a full-screen ad that can act like a landing page or immersive experience for your brand. As AdWeek put it:

There’s a lot to learn about Canvas ads, with more options, tips, and templates than you can count. For the latest info, go straight to the source:

Canvas ads—a full-screen, interactive experience.

5
Carousel

The Carousel format allows you to upload up to ten images to one ad, which Facebook users can then scroll through horizontally.

You can choose the order of the images yourself, or you can let Facebook choose them automatically based on performance data.

The recommended requirements for these ads are:

  • Facebook’s current Carousel ad specs here
  • A minimum of two cards, and a maximum of 10
  • JPG or PNG image file type
  • A maximum video file size of 4 GB or length of 240 minutes
  • Maximum image file size of 30 MB
  • Resolution of at least 1080 x 1080 pixels
  • Image should include less than 20% text, with a 125 character limit
Some serious specs from the big F.

6
Slideshow

With Slideshow ads, you upload several images—or use the stock photos Facebook provided in the ad creation process—then Facebook turns them into a video-style ad.

The design requirements are:

  • Facebook’s current Slideshow ad specs here
  • Upload the highest-quality images possible
  • Use images that are all the same dimensions. The ideal resolution is 1280 x 720 pixels, or an image ratio of 16:9, 1:1, or 2:3
  • Video format should be MOV or MP4

Facebook has put together a step-by-step process to help you create Slideshow ads, as well as an online course to help you get the most out of them.

→ Want to freshen up your Facebook page? Make sure to get your Facebook cover photo size right.

Which Facebook ad format should you use?

Let Facebook help. Before your choose your ad type and start creating, Facebook asks about your main Facebook marketing objective. Then they help point you in the right direction.

For example, to spark conversations with potential customers, Jasper’s Market created an ad on Messenger. This lets customers reach out to the company directly within the app.

You can also see which objective each ad supports in Facebook’s guide to choosing the right advertising objective.

Getting started with Facebook Ads Manager.

Here’s a few more examples:

  • Expanding your reach to people who live near your business or in your community
  • Reaching as many people as possible
  • Lead generation
  • Website conversions
  • App installs
  • Raising attendance at an event
  • Communicating better with potential customers
  • Getting people to claim your offer

If you don’t have much experience, and you’re worried you won’t quite nail the Facebook ad dimensions, then you can mock up, preview, and test your ad in the company’s Creative Hub.

Getting Facebook ad sizes right in 2018

Let’s be honest, Facebook is full of spammy ads that we all wish would go away. So make sure your ad isn’t one of them.

Because ad success—and ad specs—are about more than just meeting the technical requirements.

You need to think about your overall social media marketing strategy, then find an ad format and placement that can support your goals.

That’s how you’ll start converting your Facebook followers into brand fans.

→ Want to stay on the pulse? Check out our article on social media trends.