Facebook Canvas: How to Create an Immersive Facebook Ads Experience

Facebook Canvas - How to Create an Immersive Facebook Ads Experience

Ever since Facebook was launched, it has become the most favorite social networking platform with 1.32 billion daily active users. Owing to its mammoth audience base and incredible user engagement, the social networking giant, has emerged as a powerful advertising medium for digital marketers. Whatever be your business objective – website traffic, brand exposure, product launch, quality lead generationFacebook should definitely hold a substantial part of your marketing strategy.

Over a period of time, Facebook has introduced a gamut of advertising options for avid marketers, providing them the lucrative opportunity to harness the massive potential of social media. Of these, Facebook Canvas steals the show with its immersive ad experience.

It comprises of myriad enthralling components – text, images, videos, carousels, CTA buttons – that can be sewn together to narrate an inspiring brand story to the target audience. They can seamlessly swipe through a carousel of images, and zoom into each to have a finer view.

Here is a great example of how Adidas used Facebook Canvas intelligently to introduce its new Z.N.E Travel Hoodie as well as showcase other related products in a grid layout.

Facebook Canvas

In this ad, Adidas used video format to showcase its newest launch. At the same time, the company highlighted its other products – travel jacket, shoes, travel bad and track pant – at the bottom of the video in a carousel format. They did it intelligently so that people can easily browse more of their products in one single place.

Facebook Canvas: An Enhanced Way to Tell Your Story & Promote Products on Mobile

Facebook Canvas provides its advertisers a “fully-customizable digital space” to help build engrossing multimedia brand stories. Using this ad format, advertisers can use a mix of elements to render a full-screen, eye-catchy and impactful brand or product experience on mobile.

Within a Canvas ad, your target audience can move through immersive digital stories in a seamless way. They can zoom in to have a fine view of the images, tilt the device for panoramic viewing, swipe through a carousel of images, and much more – make the ad experience engaging & attractive in a manner that mobile websites aren’t.

In the process of offering an immersive experience to the audience, you would think that Canvas ads load slowly. Delightfully, the photos & videos in Canvas mode load as quickly as other ads on Facebook, and 10 times faster than a standard mobile web application.

Here is another example of how Burberry used Canvas ad to create a highly interactive, engrossing, and mobile-friendly ‘Holiday Gift Lookbook.’


Facebook Canvas

Wendy’s – an American fast food restaurant chain with a global presence – used a spectacular Canvas ad experience, using GIFs to break down the ingredients of making their famous cheeseburger.


After the ad was aired on Facebook, it garnered 2.9% of active users reaching to the bottom of the advertisement and even trying their restaurant locator. It had an average view time of 65 seconds, which is quite awesome.

If you are interested in more detailed information about Facebook ads and Facebook marketing make sure check out our other similar articles:

Optimizing Facebook ads – placement, delivery, budget optimization, format and more to maximise ROI

Advantages and Disadvantages of Facebook Ads [Must-know]

How to Make a Facebook Ad [Easy walkthrough]

Facebook Ads: How to get high relevancy score in 11 steps

Top Reasons Why Your Business Should Focus on Facebook Canvas Ad Campaign

If you are apprehensive about investing in Facebook Canvas ad thinking it is yet another over-hyped advertising tool, then you should certainly read further. Discussed here are the key reasons why your business must leverage the high user-engagement potential of this advertising platform.

  1. Canvas Ads Load Instantly

Considering the “immersive brand experience” that Facebook Canvas offers, you might be worried about rendering a slower ad experience to the target audience. However, the fact is that the photos and videos inside a Canvas ad load instantly. Perhaps that’s why it is also called ‘Instant Ads.’

Think of thousands of dollars you had wasted on creating a stunning website or advertising on digital media, due to poor click-through rate and conversions. Slow loading time is one of the major factors affecting your CTR and contributing to a higher bounce rate. Do you know that 74% of total mobile app users abandon web applications that don’t load within 5 seconds?

With Facebook Canvas, you can bid adieu to slow loading content, burning dollars off your total ad spent. So, you can effortlessly promote your brand by creating a visually-compelling & in-depth journey for your users without bothering about ad loading time. And speed sells!

  1. Full-Screen Ad Experience


Unlike standard small banner ads, Canvas renders full-screen ad experience once the user clicks on the advertisement. This is particularly useful in catching user attention and engaging them for a higher span of time.

According to a study, full-screen ads can ensure 5x higher conversion rate than standard ads. 47% of small banner ad clicks are accidental, which reduces their effectiveness to the marketer. However, full-screen ads like Canvas eliminate the problem of ‘flat finger,’ ensuring all clicks are 100% genuine.

A report from comScore suggests 91% of mobile users find rich media ad more interactive & enthralling, resulting in higher user engagement. Additionally, full-screen formats offer an enhanced experience to mobile users and are less intrusive. No more irritating pop-ups, no more distracting banner modes – give your audience a seamless and engaging user experience with Canvas ads.

  1. Easy to Create

Building Facebook Canvas ads are much simpler than it sounds. Advertisers have access to the Canvas Builder tool that makes it easier for everyone to create a Canvas. It is available both in Power Editor and Publishing Tools tab on the advertiser’s page. We will discuss how to create a canvas ad in the later part of this blog.

  1. Make Your Own Design

One of the great things about this Facebook ad format is – the Canvas design team takes into account advertisers, people, and design agencies into account when crafting an advertisement. Thus, the entire creative control lies in your hand. Whether you want to narrate a compelling brand story, showcase your products interestingly, or promote just anything – you can play with design ideas and tools to offer an impressive experience to the users.

  1. Drive Your Business Goal

‘Instant Experiences’ on Canvas are designed to help the advertisers use its potential for varying marketing goals – inspire brand awareness, get new customers, drive mobile shopping, or boost your business.

We are sure the above-mentioned reasons are alluring enough to let you dive into exploiting the rich Canvas experience.

How to Create Your First Facebook Canvas Ad?

Here is a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to help you create your own Facebook Canvas.

Step 1: Access ‘Canvas’ From the Publishing Tools Tab  

To create a new Canvas, open your advertiser’s Facebook page and click on the option ‘Publishing Tools.’ On the left-hand side panel, you will see the option for ‘Canvas’ at the bottom. By clicking on it, you will have the option to ‘Create’ a new Canvas.

Before you start building a Canvas, it is important to determine the kind of Instant Experience you want to give your target audience.

Step 2: Open the Canvas Builder

 As you click the ‘Create’ button, the Canvas Builder page will open. It will appear as following:


Facebook Canvas Builder

In the ‘Untitled Canvas’ panel, you can give a name to your new Canvas, which will be visible only to you. You can also select a preferred theme or background for your Facebook Canvas. Click ‘Select a Theme’ button and choose a White, Black or Custom color background. Giving a theme or background will help highlight the empty spaces or text boxes in the Canvas.

Facebook, by default, will ask you to add a Theme, Header, Photo, and Button. But you can delete any of these options and move directly to “Add Component” button at the bottom of the page to integrate new elements into the Canvas.

By clicking on it, you can add the following ‘Additional Components’ to your Canvas:

You can choose one or several of these components and then click ‘Ok’ to add to your Canvas. You can also choose to add several of each component if you wish. Make sure to keep the ad experience simple yet in-depth, immersive and breathtaking.

Step 3: Insert a Header

A header is one that will appear at the top of your Canvas. You can create only one header at a time.

Insert a Header

Facebook recommends an image size of 120x44px, and that is very small. However, Facebook Canvas specs suggest that the maximum size of a header should be 882x66px. If the header image is transparent, you can choose the preferred background color and opacity.

Step 4: Add Photo

Once you add the header, you will be prompted to add the Photo component. Inside your canvas, you can add up to 20 photos. Whatever image you add, only full-screen width will be taken by default. Here are the specifications to add photos inside your Canvas:

  • File type: Only .jpg and .png is accepted
  • Image size: Full-width image – 1080 pixels but you can upload a wider image by selecting “fit to height (tilt to pan)” option. Full height image – 1920 pixels but you can use a larger image by clicking the display option “fit to width (tap to expand)”
  • Upload up to 20 photos

Once you have uploaded photo/photos, add a specific URL in the box beside the ‘Destination URL’ tab. This is the page where your target audience will land when they click on a photo. This is optional.

Step 5: Insert CTA Button

 The ‘Button’ component of Canvas gives you the opportunity to take your users out of Facebook, and onto your website or landing page. That is why it is also known as Call-to-Action button.

You can add up to 30 characters in Serif/Sans Serif font. You can change the button’s color, position and style to make it more eye-catchy for the users.

Step 6: Add Facebook Canvas Video

 Adding a video inside your Canvas can make it more interactive and engaging for your target audience. Here are Facebook’s specifications for video format:

  • MP4 or MOV format
  • Recommended Portrait orientation; landscape videos will resize automatically to Portrait
  • Minimum resolution is 720p
  • Total video length should not exceed 2 minutes. Your Canvas can have multiple videos but the total time cannot be greater than 2 minutes
  • By default, the first frame will be a thumbnail

Once the video is uploaded, you can choose its display mode – ‘Default’ or ‘Tilt to Pan.’

If you choose to default, the video will fit to the screen. If you choose tilt to the pan, users can tilt their phone or zoom in to view the entire video. It offers a more immersive experience and is perfect for high-resolution video journeys.

Step 7: Create Your Canvas Carousel  

Just like Facebook Carousel ad, you can insert a series of cards (or images) that allow your users to swipe for an eye-catchy tour of your brand or to “tell a progressive story” inside your Canvas.


This is a great example of Facebook Carousel advertisement where the advertiser showcases different parts of the same product, with each card having a unique description. You can use the same feature inside your Canvas and harness a myriad potential – adding different Calls-to-Action underneath different products, directly to different landing pages.

You can add 2 to 10 images of the same size & resolution, with a specific destination URLs for each card.

Click the “+” button as shown in the image above, and start uploading as many as 10 photos in Canvas Builder. Once you have uploaded all, click the “Default” or “Tilt to Pan” option under “Carousel Scaling” tab. If you select “Tilt to Pan,” you will not be able to add destination URL with the images.

Here the specifications for Canvas Carousel:

  • All images should be of the same size
  • Maximum image width – 1080 pixels
  • Maximum image height – 1920 pixels
  • Only .png and .jpg file format is acceptable
  • Minimum 2 and maximum of 10 images per carousel

Step 8: Create Text Blocks Inside Your Canvas   

 Text blocks are designed to make your Canvas more informative for your users.


You can add text up to 500 characters in Serif and Sans Serif font. Other important specifications include:

  • Bold, Italics and Underlined option to be applied to the whole text and not for individual words
  • Font size should be between 6 points to 72 point
  • Left, Center and Right alignment

Step 9: Add Product Set    

If you have a product feed, you can showcase the same inside your Canvas. This is an alternative to Dynamic Product Ads and renders somewhat the same feel.



You are free to set the order of the products, and they will be displayed dynamically. Facebook can display up 40 products at a time.

Step 10: Save, Preview, Rearrange and Finish Your Canvas     

As you work through the steps, you can save everything as a draft. But do not click the Finish button, or otherwise, your Canvas will get locked, and you will no longer be able to make additions or changes. As you make new additions at every stage, you will get a quick preview of the same in the right sidebar of your Canvas Builder.



Before you click “Finish,” make sure you preview the Canvas on your mobile device. To do this, click the option “Preview on Device” at the top of the right-hand side preview panel.


On clicking this, you will get a notification to preview the Canvas ad on your phone’s Facebook app. Click “OK” to have the Instant Experience on your mobile device.

At this stage, you can rearrange the components using the upwards/downwards arrows and make necessary modifications. Make sure that the logo, text elements, and CTA button look elegant and impressive. If you are satisfied with the overall outlook of the Canvas ad on our mobile device, click the “Finish” button. A pop-up notification box will appear; click “Finish.”

Step 11: Create Your Facebook Ad Campaign, Ad Set and Ad

 Once your Canvas is ready, it is time to create your Facebook ad campaign having two “Objective” – Clicks to Website or Website Conversions. Alternatively, you can choose the option “Create Post” at the top of the preview panel and have the Canvas published on your audience’s news feed as a regular post. However, for better reach and conversions, creating an ad campaign is important.

Under Destination, you have to paste the URL of your Canvas. Next, you select the ad placement as “Mobile News Feed.” It won’t appear on desktops.

For the ad, choose the option “Canvas” under “Destination” and enter the URL you want to promote. Set your budget and audience as usual. You will have to add a headline that will appear below the thumbnail of the Canvas, text that will appear above the ad, and a thumbnail image.


Once everything is in place, you can preview the ad once again and see how it will appear to your active users and target audience. Once you are done, set the order for the Facebook advertisement.


By clicking “Continue,” you can go forward to add Canvas ad metrics and get critical analytics data at Ads Manager Insights.


Facebook Canvas provides a fantastic “storytelling” opportunity to digital marketers. Be a Power Editor user today, and harness the potential of Canvas to create an immersive Facebook ads experience.

Facebook advertising with canvas ads offers great diversity options when it comes to format and placement. Canvas ads are a good way to “break-up” the usual image/video feed and make your ad and product stand out in the crowded content feed.

Good luck with your ad creation and get creative!

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