Facebook Finally Enables GIFs in Ad Units

Years after becoming a mainstay on social media, email, and damn near everywhere else online, advertisers can now officially use GIFs in Facebook ads.

This isn’t the social network’s first available paid placement using the popular short-form video format. Facebook gave Pages the ability boost posts featuring GIFs back in 2015; for whatever reason, though, ad sets built within Ads Manager were excluded from utilizing GIFs until now.

Advertisers will see the same (now updated) video metrics applied to GIFs in Facebook ads as they would if they were running video, and can be uploaded in the same fashion: by choosing “Single Video” in the Format section of ad creation. The 20% text rule still applies to GIFs, and the file size should be below 8MB. Facebook has a complete list of guidelines in their Help Center.

Image via GIPHY

This annoying oversight—or, deliberate decision made for some unknown reason, as it were—meant that advertisers needed to publicly post any “ads” with GIFs to their entire Page’s fanbase before promoting it to an extended audience. For some campaigns, this is not ideal: especially for those with offers that only apply only in certain areas, for new customers, or for acquiring new Page fans.

Advertisers can begin using GIFs in Facebook ads immediately. Given that GIFs are uploaded & treated as single videos in the platform, it doesn’t appear they’ll be able to be used for Carousel Ads at this time.