Facebook Ad Formats 101

Aug 29, 2019 | Social Media

Facebook advertising is a gold mine for marketers. Before getting started, it is important to understand the various ad formats available and their recommended best practices.

Facebook Ad Formats

Getting started with Facebook advertising but not sure where to begin? Facebook offers myriad options when it comes to ad types and formats. While the selection is great, it can also be menacing. Here we break down the top ad formats and guidelines you should know, courtesy of the Facebook ads guide.

Top Ad Formats

There are a variety of ad objectives, calls to action, and offers which will affect your overall ad layout. However, there are four core ad formats in which you place your media, text, and links. Those four formats include single image ads, video ads, carousel ads, and collection ads.

Single Image

A single image ad is the most basic and commonly used ad format on Facebook. As the name implies, a single image ad features one image. While simple and straightforward, this ad format is tried and true. Single image ads are easy to create and require the least amount of leg work from ad designers. Despite their simplicity, there are several key guidelines to keep in mind.

  • Recommended dimensions: 1080x1080 (1:1)
  • File type: jpg or png
  • On-image text should cover less than 20% of the area
  • Panorama and 360 photos are also supported but have their own specifications


With Facebook's video viewership up to 8 billion daily (Sprout Social), it is no wonder marketers are taking advantage of this ever-growing trend. Facebook video ads have been around for a while but continue to pick up steam year after year. As with single image ads, video ads have required guidelines and recommended best practices.

  • Recommended ratio: 9:16 
  • Maximum file size: 4GB
  • Recommended length: 15 seconds
  • Video captions are optional but recommended as 85% of all Facebook videos are watched with the sound off
  • 360 videos are also supported but have their own specifications


A carousel ad is a unique ad type which allows a marketer to feature up to 10 different products or services within one ad. Users can scroll through the carousel cards and click on them to navigate to individual links. The key benefit to a carousel ad is that it allows you to feature so much more within one ad. Carousels are especially useful for e-commerce companies looking to feature a handful of products with the "Shop Now" call to action. Additionally, you can feature a mix of images and videos within the carousel ad. Carousel best practices include:

  • Recommended image dimensions: 1080x1080
  • Recommended ratio: 1:1
  • Image file type: jpg or png
  • Maximum video file size: 4GB


The collection ad format is the new kid on the block, so to speak. Collection ads make it easier for users to discover, browse and purchase products in a visual and immersive way. Often referred to as an "experience", a collection ad typically includes a cover image or video, followed by several product images, text, and a call to action button. When setting up your collection ad, you can create one from scratch or choose one of the pre-built templates: storefront, lookbook, and customer acquisition. 

Exact dimensions and media requirements depend on the layout of your collection ad. If you have a Facebook catalog created, you can automatically pull in product information to autofill the ad. 

It is truly amazing to see the changes Facebook has made with their ad platform over the past few years. The ad formats described above are just the tip of the iceberg. If you need assistance understanding, creating, maintaining, or reporting on Facebook ads, we can help. Contact the Digital Marketing experts at Informatics to launch your Facebook ads campaign.

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