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Facebook Ad Size and Specification: The Complete Guide for 2020

Mathew Maniyamkott

9 min read

Can you think of any other tool that brings people together as much as Facebook does? No matter how much we disparage the social networking site, there is hardly anything else that has the same kind of ability to influence people. There are more than 2.6 billion people using Facebook. At least 1.73 billion people log on to it every single day. While it is completely free, if you want to market your services, you need to pay a fee for that.

Do you know that more than 90 million small businesses use Facebook? All of these businesses will have their customers lurking somewhere on the social media platform. It is a no-brainer that they will want to reach as many potential customers as possible. Not only can you drive sales using Facebook ads, but you can also build your brand and create an audience. Facebook ads are known for the incredible reach that it gives if your ad is optimized, messaging is clear and you have an irresistible offer for your audience.

Please do remember that Facebook ads also include Instagram ads and they are known for much better ROI than the usual CPC rates.

There are image sizes, character requirements, photo resolution, text percentage, and so many other things that need to be kept in mind while creating an ad for your audience on Facebook.

Why does Facebook Ad Size matter?

A story ad and a newsfeed ad, both of these are different. Not only is the area for inserting texts differently, the visual component for both are also not the same.

There are going to be huge changes in size, shape, and visual component of the ad depending on the type of ad format. In fact, there will even be changes occurring when viewing the ad on a mobile or a desktop.

If you don’t keep all the above points in mind, then you are vulnerable to having your ad cropped at the wrong places. Not only would it make you look like a brand that has no clue what it is doing, but you also will not be able to get any sales if your ad looks shoddy.

FaceBook Ad Size and Specifications to Know

Now that you know that there is no one-size-fits-all model in Facebook advertising, let’s find out how we can crack the Facebook ad code.

#1 Facebook Ad Image size

There is a recommended resolution of 1,200*1,200 pixels for News Feed, Instant Articles, Marketplaces, Native Ads, Sponsored Messages, and Right Column.

The minimum image size that is accepted by Facebook is 476*249 pixels. For Facebook ads, these are the universal image dimensions, but specific sections like file type, character count, image-to-text-ratio can change based on where you intend to place your ad.

The standard Facebook image ads such as the one we spoke about in the previous paragraph, should be uploaded either as a JPG or PNG file. It should have an image ratio of 9:16 or 16:9.

Image-to-text: 5:1 — If your image design includes text, keep it under 20% of the image to optimize the ad’s audience potential.

Maximum headline limit in the ad: 25 characters

Maximum text allowed in the ad: 125 characters

Recommended image resolution for the ad: 1,080 x 1,080 px (476 x 249 px minimum)

Maximum link description: 30 characters and not more than that. It will reduce the experience of the visitor.

Maximum video length: 240 minutes

Maximum video file size: 4GB

#2 Facebook stories

As of 2019, there were at least 300 million people who used Facebook stories every day. Instagram had 500 million users who use Instagram stories every day. There are over 2 million advertisers on Facebook stories.

Creating content for Facebook stories is extremely different because your aspect ratio is different, the story ad streams at a faster pace and there is only little text available.

The fact that a Facebook story lasts only for five seconds means so much about what you can do and what you cannot. Even worse when it comes to capturing the attention of the visitor is that the viewer can choose to swipe your story if it doesn’t hold their attention.

The ideal image ratio in a Facebook story is 9:16.

Image-to-text: 5:1 — If your Facebook Story includes text, keep it under 20% of the image to optimize the Story’s audience potential.

Minimum image resolution: Upload the highest resolution available

Maximum video length: 120 seconds

Maximum video file size: 4GB

#3 Native ads

These are ads that are shown to your target audience’s network based on the apps and sites that they visit. They are usually shown on the News Feed of users. The image can be uploaded either as a JPEG or a PNG file and the image ratio should be 16:9.

85% of apps on Audience Network have higher native CPMs when compared with banner CPMs. Native Ads look more organic for your target audience and it certainly doesn’t come across as annoying.

It is predicted that the majority of mobile display ads will be native ads. A research study from IHS says that the ad spend will be around $53 billion.

Image-to-text: 5:1 — If your image design includes text, keep it under 20% of the image to optimize the ad’s audience potential.

Maximum headline: 25 characters

Maximum text: 125 characters

Recommended image resolution: Upload the highest resolution available (398 x 208 px minimum)

Maximum link description: 30 characters

Maximum video length: 120 seconds

Maximum video file size: 4GB

#4 Sponsored Posts

Sponsored or ‘Boosted’ Facebook ads are posts that a company promotes. These are usually posted as an organic post which is later boosted to increase its reach.

There is no doubt that organic reach on Facebook has reduced drastically which means that it is impossible to avoid paying to increase the visibility of the content of your business.

Since Sponsored posts appear just like normal posts for a user, it doesn’t break the flow for the user on Facebook. It will appear in between organic posts from friends and family and it doesn’t interrupt the normal scrolling on their feed.

#4 Sponsored Messages

These types of ads will appear in the inbox of the users. The images can have an aspect ratio of 16:9 or 9:16 and can be uploaded as a JPG file or a PNG file.

Image to text: 5:1. If you want to include text in your image, please ensure that it is less than 20% of the image so that it is optimized for a good user experience.

Headline length: 25 characters

Text length: 125 characters

Image resolution: 1,200*628 pixels (254*133 minimum pixel size)

Link Description length: 30 characters.

#5 Facebook Carousel Ad Size

The recommended resolution for Facebook carousel ads is 1,080*1,080 pixels for Instant Articles, Marketplaces, Native Ads, Right Column, News Feed, Messenger Inbox Ads. The limit to place images in a Facebook Carousel ad is 2 to 10. It is a carousel of images that the user will see in front of their screens.

Facebook Carousel Ads will appear in the same way how the standard Facebook ads appear. The image should be uploaded either as a JPEG or a PNG file.

Headline length: 25 characters.

Text allowed: 125 characters (except Right Column)

Image Resolution: 1,080*1,080 pixels

Link Description: Only 20 characters are allowed. (Except Right Column and Messenger Inbox)

Image File Size: 30 MB

Video length allowed: 240 minutes per card for each carousel.

Video size allowed: 4G (Except for Messenger Inbox)

#6 Instagram Stories Carousels

You can also use Carousel ads in Instagram stories where you are allowed to show between two and three images or videos, all in the same Instagram story. The image resolution that is recommended is 1,080*1,080 pixels. You are allowed 15 seconds per card in a carousel.

#7 Instagram Feed Carousels

You can show 2 to 10 cards in a carousel and the images can be uploaded as either JPG or PNG files.

Text allowed: Two rows of text.

Number of hashtags allowed: 30

Image resolution: 1,080*1,080 pixels

Image file size: 30 MB

Video length allowed: 60 seconds for each carousel

Video file length: 4GB

#8 Facebook Right Column Ads

They carry great potential although it is disadvantaged by the limitation of its size. But if you keep the formatting in mind, you can still get a lot of eyeballs for your business using this.

Instead of using two images in the RC ad, choosing to add two ads here is a brilliant way to ensure that you can gain the attention of the user, also, it will look less cultured than when placing a single image.

Image aspect ratio: 16:9

Image Dimensions: 1200*628 pixels

Minimum width and height recommended: 600 pixels

You cannot use videos in this type of ad, you can only use images.

Before you roll out an ad, ensure that you see a preview of how they will look based on the placement of the ad and the type of ad. Ensure that you check how it will look both on mobile as well as on desktops.

Do not miss out on checking how the ads look, otherwise, you will be committing a huge mistake. Ads that have not been well implemented will make you look like a new entrant who does not know how to market their business.

Remember that the outlook that your prospective customers have about your brand is quintessential for your survival. If your ads are attractive, you will end up getting leads, but if they are not optimized and do not look ideal, then you will be in for a shocker when you find people mocking it on the very same social media where you are extinguishing your marketing budget.

How to Spend your First $100 on Facebook Ads

While you might have thousands of dollars to spend on Facebook ads, let’s just start with $100 for this example, shall we?

  • If you find a certain type of content is doing well on social media, then it will perform even better when there is a budget allocated to it.
  • Retarget users who have already visited your website or are a part of your email list.
  • Based on your existing customers, create a ‘look-alike’ audience, and target them.
  • A/B test your ads for content and design
  • Monitor your ad performance when your budget is low so that you don’t make a mistake once you have grown big.
  • Create custom audiences and target them for effectiveness
  • Run brand awareness campaigns that introduce your audience to your brand story

Benefits of Facebook Ad Campaigns

Are all the Facebook ads that you see on the platform effective? Of course not. Why? Because some of these businesses do not keep in mind the guidelines that are to be followed and they do not give the experience that makes conversions.

Apart from writing blogs, investing in SEO, having a powerful website, etc., you need to be really strong at Facebook ads if you want a thriving business. There is no doubt about the impact that Facebook can have on your business.

#1 Facebook’s Analytics

For a marketer, knowing how many people engaged with the audience is everything. If a marketer is not privy to such information, then there would be no strategy as you need to know what works and what doesn’t. Facebook’s Ads Manager lays out everything for you on a nice platform where you have every information about your ad. Nothing is left for your imagination or assumption.

It will tell you about the number of likes, weekly reach, post engagement rate, posts that have shown the best performance, etc. It will even tell you about clicks and conversions. Remember that the ability to track and measure is the most basic thing that a marketer wants and Facebook is generous when it comes to that.

#2 Hypertargeting

The ability to target an audience on a granular level is something that Facebook can be proud of. Target your audience based on the interests, demographics, firmographic data, connections, languages, locations, and even get to target your competitor’s fans. How crazy is that!

If your idea of your customer persona is deep, then Facebook is your goldmine and it can be your gift that keeps giving you. For marketers, if their targeting is wrong, there will be no conversions. Facebook ads completely remove this problem as you can target any segment of the audience.

#3 It pays to pay

Facebook’s organic reach is pathetic right now. It is clear that Facebook wants its users to spend money if they are planning to publicize their content.

So if you are running a business and you expect Facebook to bring you leads, you cannot rely on organic reach as just a fraction of your users will have your content displayed on their feeds.

#4 Retargeting

It has changed the way businesses market to their target audience. Everyone knows that the first visit doesn’t really guarantee a sale. If you want to be on top of your prospect’s mind, then you need to keep appearing everywhere. Visitors on your website should be retargeted with ads on Facebook, Instagram, etc., wherever it makes sense to target them.

It is true that your prospects should see your brand at least three to seven times before they even plan on buying from you.

#5 Get clicks and conversions

Thanks to Facebook’s impeccable advertising tools, the CTR (clickthrough rate) of ads has been increasing steadily. Using the tools available, business owners can effectively target their audiences and do them at a cost that is low.

By targeting the right audience, you can increase the number of clicks and convert them as easily. The only thing that you need to do is keep tweaking your ad until you find the perfect one which has the best CTR.

#6 Add a CTA button

There is no doubt that adding a Call-to-Action button at the end of any type of content can have a huge effect. The same goes for ads as well. If your intention is to bring the audience to your website or a landing page, then you need to add a CTA button.

It’s effective because people are given a direction as to what to do and you can also direct them somewhere where they can consume more information which will bring them deeper into the sales funnel.

Conclusion

Even if you don’t agree with us, there is a lot at stake when you are investing in Facebook ads, let’s say even if you don’t end up making conversions because of not following the standards, you might end up looking unprofessional if your business doesn’t convey the right tone to your followers.

Ensure that the ad that you finally use has followed all the guidelines and specifications to the T. A well-optimized ad with an irresistible offer that people want will always create the right impact.

While we would love it if you use this article as a guide, please do remember that Facebook ads size and specifications keep changing. It is something that you should keep yourself updated about when you are planning to invest in FB ads.

Be creative when it comes to FB ads, no matter which type of ad you are investing in. People will always open up to something that they think of as creative. Keep experimenting and find out the ones that work perfectly well. Try all kinds of content formats and experiment with the different ad types that Facebook offers.

What do you think about Facebook ads? How has it benefited your business? Tell us about the effectiveness of campaigns for your business and the strategies that you used to make them successful? Let us know in the comments section so that everybody benefits from it.

Mathew Maniyamkott

Guest Blogger at SurveySparrow

Regular contributor to various magazines. Passionate about entrepreneurship, startups, marketing, and productivity.

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