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Facebook Canvas Ads: The Next Generation Of Mobile Advertising

Written by: Carolyn Berk, Content Marketing Associate

Facebook has taken its advertising capabilities to the next level with Canvas. These fast-loading mobile ads allow businesses to tell stories and showcase their products in a whole new way. With the freedom of a full-screen experience, advertisers can instantly engage and dazzle viewers with a visually-stunning experience they won’t forget. Facebook boasts 989 million mobile daily active users on average, all of whom require ads that are specifically designed for their browsing experience. Want to incorporate Canvas ads into your online advertising campaigns? Here’s everything you need to know in order to get started.

Why Canvas Ads?

Facebook has already seen success with interactive mobile ad units like Carousel link ads, which the platform says drives 30-50% lower cost-per-conversion. Video ads are also proving to be a powerful driver of mobile ad spend. Canvas ads combine these two winning formats, and crafts them into a uniquely immersive ad unit.

American Express Facebook Canvas Ad


Early adopters of Canvas ads are reaping the benefits of being first to market. According to Facebook, ASUS saw impressive results with its “End Bad Gifts” campaign during the 2015 holiday shopping season. The tech company saw a 42% increase in clicks on their Canvas ad. In addition, 70% of the people who clicked on the Canvas ad went on to explore the ASUS website.

How Do Canvas Ads Work?

Canvas ads appear on the Facebook news feed much like any other ad. They show up as either a photo or a video, accompanied by ad copy – and a small arrow up button at the bottom of the image. Once users click on that arrow, they’re brought to a full-screen landing page with fast-loading, interactive elements.

World Market - Facebook Canvas Ads

While navigating through the ad, viewers can encounter a mix of images and videos that create a seamless narrative about a particular product, brand or service. Canvas ads include interactive elements, so users can do things like swipe through a Carousel of images, tilt to view panoramic images and zoom in and out of images in detail. Most importantly, they can click call-to-action (CTA) buttons in order to take further action, such as make a purchase on your website.

Macy’s Canvas ad - wedding registry

What Are Best Practices For Canvas Ads?

Canvas ads are very new, and marketers are still exploring the many ways they can be used to encourage downstream actions like installs or registrations. With that in mind, there are several best practices that advertisers should stick to when creating Canvas ads.

  1. Dedicate each ad to just one theme. Try focusing on a single product type or clothing line, such as spring fashion, instead of cramming every possible product into your ad. This will make your ad more streamlined, less confusing, and better equipped to motivate action from your audience.
  2. Keep the creative consistent throughout the ad by sticking to one creative element or color theme. This will keep the ad from looking disjointed and make for a smoother viewing experience.
  3. Use carousel ads, images or videos that you know are well received on Facebook. This way, you can build your Canvas with confidence because it’s based on ads that are proven drivers of revenue.
  4. Make sure links in your ad drive to a mobile-friendly landing page. Canvas ads are all about mobile viewability, and a landing page that’s difficult to navigate on a mobile device will quickly frustrate users and cause them to lose interest.

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