Online marketers wondering how they can reach smartphone users, who typically opt for using a handful of apps over their mobile browsers, received a significant boost this week from Facebook Inc.: Canvas, a new tool that content creators can use to easily create eye-catching, full-screen multimedia ads for mobile devices.
To the average user, Canvas ads initially appear similar to any other sponsored post: A quick message, followed by a link and image:
However, clicking on the image produces an app-like full-screen experience that users can scroll through, both up and down…
…and left to right:
The ads can also incorporate links, product sets (which, after you select the products that could appear, an algorithm will curate based on what it thinks the viewer is most likely to purchase), and even video:
Like instant articles, Canvas ads are stored on Facebook’s servers, so they load faster than website links or embedded content.
If you’re a paid advertiser on Facebook, simply select the “Canvas” option under your page’s “Publishing Tools” section to use the Canvas tool. You’ll be prompted to select a basic background theme, after which you can add components such as headers, buttons, links, photos, carousels, products, or video. Once posted, Canvas ads can be edited or measured like any other sponsored post, or used in place of traditional text- and image-based ads at no additional cost.