Snapping Success: Navigating Snapchat Video Ad Specifications


Snapchat has become a powerful tool for advertisers because of its many active users and unique interactive features. As videos continue to be the most popular form of digital advertising, Snapchat’s special video ad formats allow brands to connect with users in new ways.

You need to know the platform’s unique ad requirements to use this potential. By understanding Snapchat video ad specs, brands can make their content more effective and ensure it fits well with the user experience and stands out. This article delves into these specifications, guiding business owners eager to maximize their impact on the Snapchat platform.

Different Snapchat Video Ads and their Specs

Below are six video ads commonly used by business owners on Snapchat and their specifications.

Single Video

Snapchat Single Video ads offer a full-screen experience, seamlessly integrating between User Stories, Publisher content, and more. They excel at boosting brand visibility and engagement. With Snapchat’s unique attachment feature, these ads can guide viewers to websites, apps, or AR lenses. Being full-screen, they command the viewer’s entire attention. However, they can be skipped, so an engaging start is crucial.

  • Aspect Ratio: 9:16
  • Max File Size: 1 GB
  • Video Duration: 3-180 seconds, though 3-5 seconds is ideal. Mention any offer within the first 2-3 seconds.
  • File Type: Use .mp4 or .mov format, encoded with H.264.

Snapchat Story Ads

On Snapchat’s Discover tab, users see various content, including ads. Brands can use Snapchat Story Ads to show 3 to 20 pictures or videos. It’s like telling a short story about the brand. For a personal touch, use videos where someone talks directly to the viewer, I.e., UGC video style. You can also use Single Video ads in your story, but remember, you can’t add links. To make your ad stand out, use fun animations or stop motion.

  • Aspect ratio: 9:16
  • File size: 1 GB per single video
  • Video length: 3 to 180 seconds
  • File type: .mp4 or .mov

Snapchat Commercials

Snapchat’s in-house studio, Snap Originals, creates shows for mobile viewers. They claim it reaches 75% of Gen Z viewers in the U.S. The Commercial ads show up between Snap’s content and games, reaching a diverse group of Snap users.

Commercials can have attachments like other video ads, but only for web pages, long videos, or AR Lenses. The content should be live-action, animated, or stop-motion and have sound.

What’s unique? These are some of the only ads on Snapchat that users can’t skip, so your ad can tell a whole story from start to finish. It’s still best practice to keep it simple. Give viewers something exciting in the first five seconds to keep viewers watching.

  • Aspect Ratio: 9:16 (vertical format)
  • File Size: Up to 1GB
  • Video Length:

Standard Commercial: 3-6 seconds (non-skippable)

Extended Play: 3-180 seconds (only the first 6 seconds are non-skippable)

  • File Type: Use .mp4 or .mov format, and ensure it’s H.264 encoded.

Collection Ads

Snapchat collection ads are like mini-stores right inside the app. They show off your products in a fun and easy way, letting users shop without even leaving Snapchat. It’s a quick and catchy way for brands to get right in front of their audience and make shopping a breeze. So, this is the way to go if you want to grab attention and drive sales fast.

  • File type: .jpg, .png, .mp4, or .mov
  • Aspect ratio: 9:16
  • Resolution: 1080px x 1920px
  • Video Length: 3-180 seconds

Snapchat Lenses

Snapchat lenses take advertising to a fun, interactive level. Instead of just seeing an ad, users get to play with it, thanks to augmented reality. Imagine turning your brand into a playful experience that users can wear and share! It’s more than just an ad; it’s a shared experience.

When someone uses your lens and shares their Snap, they also spread your brand’s name. This means more eyes and engagement for your brand uniquely and entertainingly. It’s a win-win for both the users and brands.

  • A high-res .PNG of your logo with a transparent background.
  • High-resolution, layered: PNG files for any static images meant for the lens
  • For a 2D Lens: A high-res .PSD file for any 2D models added to the face or frame.
  • For a 3D Lens: Use 3D Max or Maya files for 3D models added to the face, head, or frame.
  • Audio: MP3 or .WAV file.

Best Practices for Creating Snapchat Video Ads

Some best practices business owners should keep in mind when producing video adverts for Snapchat include:

1.   Start with a Goal

Before crafting your Snapchat ad, pinpoint your goal: brand recognition, sales boost, or deeper audience engagement. Having a clear plan makes your ad creation smoother. Understand your audience’s needs, design accordingly, and select the correct ad format. This alignment ensures your ad resonates and fits Snapchat’s guidelines.

2.   Mobile-First on Snapchat

Snapchat thrives on mobile. To make your ads stand out, align them with mobile specs. Ensure text stays within Snapchat’s safe zone and maintain a 175px buffer at the top and bottom. This avoids overlaps and ensures a seamless viewer experience.

3.   Be Genuine in Your Messaging

Capture attention with genuine, standout content. Avoid typical ad narratives; instead, show the real essence of your brand. Design ads that blend seamlessly into users’ feeds so they engage without feeling interrupted. Authentic content not only grabs attention but also positively shapes brand perception.

4.   Sound Matters on Snapchat

Unlike other platforms, Snapchat users often have their sound on, with 64% of ads viewed with audio. This means your ad’s audio plays a huge role in engagement. Choose music that resonates with your brand’s essence. Whether it’s a lively beat for a 3-second ad or a classy tune for a luxury brand, the right audio can amplify your message. Let your sound choice echo your brand’s identity and the emotion you aim to evoke.

But make sure you still make your content consumable without audio. This allows you to reach more people and create a more accessible experience.

5.   Keep Stories Straightforward

On Snapchat, less is often more. Overwhelming your ads with excessive details can confuse viewers. Stick to your objective and craft ads that convey your message directly. Use captions and CTAs that are enticing but manageable. While simplicity is key, ensure your content remains engaging and resonates with your audience for maximum impact.

6.   Test and Refine for Better Results

After launching your Snapchat ads, it’s crucial to evaluate their effectiveness. You can pinpoint what truly connects with your audience by testing different creatives. Use Audience Insights to gauge reactions and adjust your strategy accordingly. You can also access user engagement and ad reach data. Segmenting your audience and tailoring ads to specific groups can enhance your campaign outcomes.


Snapchat has made a name for itself with its creative video ad forms geared toward its primarily young audience. From fun Lenses that use augmented reality to Collection Ads for direct purchasing, the platform gives marketers a lot of choices.

If you know and use the right specs, you’ll give viewers the best watching experience. By using these tools well, brands can make their content stand out and get people to interact with it meaningfully, which could turn casual watchers into loyal customers.

The Mazatlan Post