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TikTok Ad Formats & Specs 2024: What Beginners Must Know

TikTok Ads format

TikTok is an awesome platform for boosting your product’s visibility in e-commerce. But with all the TikTok ad formats and specs, it can get pretty confusing. Which ad format is best for promoting your business, and what guidelines should you follow to make sure it performs well?

Don’t worry, we’re here to guide you through your first TikTok ad adventure. In this blog, you’ll find info on each ad format, specs categorized by ad types, and some bonus tips to supercharge your results. So, follow our guide and find the best solution for your business!

The 10 TikTok Ad Formats and their Specs

In-Feed Ads

One of the TikTok ad formats you should consider is In-Feed Ads. As the name reflects, In-Feed Ads are the video ads that appear between user videos when they scroll through their For You Page. Those videos can blend naturally in with the native content feed. To put it simply, In-Feed Ads are similar to the ads you see while tapping through Instagram Story.


We often get asked where to start when it comes to advertising on TikTok. Our answer is In-Feed ads! Learn more about the format in this video. #AdTok

♬ original sound – TikTok For Business

This TikTok Ad format is especially dedicated to a successful branding process by increasing visibility and reaching a broader audience. Marketers will have the power to include a call-to-action button that links to a landing page or other desired destinations.

Otherwise, viewers can also interact with your videos by liking, leaving a comment, sharing or using the music to create their own content. 

On the downside, In-Feed Ads are skippable and difficult to boost your customer retention. So consider carefully your business goals before running TikTok In-Feed Ads!

TikTok In-Feed Ads specs:

  • Aspect ratio: 16:9, 9:16 or 1:1
  • Video resolution: ≥1280 x 720 px, ≥720 x 1280 px, and ≥640 x 640 px
  • File types: .mov, .mp4, .3gp, .mpeg, or .avi.
  • Video length: between 5 and 60 seconds (9-15s are the most optimal)
  • Video size: within 500MB. 
  • Bitrate: ≥516 kbps

Spark Ads

Spark Ads are a lot like In-Feed Ads but with a twist. Unlike regular In-Feed Ads (let’s call them Non-Spark Ads), Spark Ads lets you create ads by posting from a real account. It could be your account or another creator’s with their permission. So, instead of sending users to an external landing page when they click on the profile photo or swipe left, they will get directed to a TikTok account page.

Just test this unique format, you will be surprised by its amazing benefits:

  • Create authenticity for the customer journey.
  • Optimize ad performance. 
  • Boost customer loyalty and retention. 
TikTok Spark Ads
TikTok Spark Ads – Source: TikTok

Regarding the TikTok ad specs for Spark Ads, TikTok has no restrictions for video ratio, video resolution, file type, or file size. However, users need to choose the ad display name and text that reflects the organic post and they cannot be edited during the ad creation process. 

TopView Ads

Top View Ads is a video format that offers prime visibility for your brand on TikTok. This ad format showcases your ads full-screen for the first 3 seconds, allowing you to attract users’ attention with a compelling combination of visuals, and audio. After that, your ads will seamlessly turn into the normal In-feed ads with CTA. It is strategically placed at the top of the For You page, the first thing a user sees when they open the app. 

With Top View Ads, you can share a video ad up to 60 seconds long, giving your audience an immersive viewing experience free from competing content. It’s the perfect solution for boosting brand recognition and creating unforgettable impressions for viewers.

TikTok Topview ads specs
Source: TikTok for Business

TikTok ad specs for Top View Ads: 

  • Video length: 60 seconds (9-15s are the most optimal)
  • Aspect ratio: 16:9, 9:16 or 1:1 
  • Video resolution: ≥ 960 x 540px, ≥40 x 960px or ≥640 x 640px
  • File size:  ≤500 MB
  • File types: .mov, .mp4, .3gp, .mpeg, or .avi
  • Bitrate: ≥516 kbps

Brand Takeover

Brand Takeover is pretty similar to Top-view ads, as it also allows your ad to show full-screen. However, this ad format lets your ads appear full-screen for the whole 5 seconds without transiting to normal In-feed ads again. When viewers tap or swipe left, they go where you want them to, whether it’s inside TikTok or an external link.

TikTok Brand Takeover specs
Source: TikTok for Business

Created for delivering mass awareness, Brand Takeover Ads guarantee high reach and outstanding performance with 100% share of voice for the day they are featured. However, only one specific brand can take over a category daily due to the ad space being limited to different categories. This is why Brand Takeover Ads are less competitive but also demand a high price.


We build brand safe solutions like Topview, Brand Takeover + more so your brand can safely build on TikTok. Head to the Brand Safety Center at our link in bio for more! #tiktokmarketing #tiktoktips

♬ original sound – TikTok for Business

TikTok ad specs for the Brand Takeover video:

  • Video duration: 3-5 seconds.
  • Aspect ratio: 9:16
  • File types: .mp4, .mov, .mpeg, .3gp, or .avi
  • Text description: Not supported for Brand Takeover ad type.
  • File size: within 500 MB.

Branded Hashtag Challenge

Have you ever taken part in a TikTok challenge and never gotten tired? Branded Hashtag Challenge definitely doesn’t miss the enormous effect created by the challenge and TikTok hashtag.


What do you get when you combine advertising and TikTok creators? Welcome to your very own Branded Hashtag Challenge! #AdTok #smallbusiness

♬ original sound – TikTok For Business

It’s a perfect way to encourage content co-creation and boost massive engagement through gaining organic visibility. This format is suitable for companies with well-known hashtags or brands focused on raising awareness and increasing engagement. 

Here’s the way that Branded Hashtag Challenge works:

  • TikTokers click on the hashtag they see in a video
  • A Hashtag Brand Challenge page with the challenge description (rules, sponsoring brands, and a link to their website) is there for users to discover. Viewers can also see videos of people who join the challenge.
  • TikTokers create their own content based on the challenge. 

A great way to boost your Branded Hashtag Challenge is to pair it with the Branded Effect format. TikTok Business Center says this combo can increase new content creation by up to 21%. It’s a surefire way to get your viewers even more pumped about your challenge if you’ve got the budget for it.

Branded hashtag challenge specs

TikTok ad specs for the Brand Takeover video:

  • Video duration: Maximum 60 seconds
  • Aspect ratio: 9:16 vertical
  • File types: .mov or .mp4
  • File size: Up to 500 MB
  • Sound: This will be automatically played when TikTok creators click on “Join this hashtag” and create a video. However, users can still turn off the sound

Branded Effects

The Branded Effects is an innovative advertising format that enables businesses to design their own customized filters, stickers, and augmented reality (AR) effects that users can use in their videos. These interactive and entertaining effects are an effective way for businesses to enhance their brand visibility and drive user engagement on the platform.

Branded Effects let businesses create a unique and memorable experience that matches their brand, products, or services. This is especially effective on TikTok, where the audience is mostly young and loves new experiences. When users use Branded Effects in their videos, they’re basically promoting the brand to their followers and maybe even to a bigger audience if the video goes viral. Therefore, if you are a creative person with a strong working knowledge of software tools, don’t forget the Branded Effect!


Colgate Max Fresh deployed a super fun & engaging hashtag challenge through a TikTok branded effect for users in Saudi Arabia! Watch the video to see how this helped the brand achieve higher awareness, purchase intent & more, among its target audience 📈 #ColgateMaxFresh #Colgate #TikTok #TikTokBrandedEffect #BrandedEffect #AR #AugmentedReality #Marketing #MarketingTech #Branding #MarketingGoals #MarTech #CreativeTech #Immersive #DigitalMarketing #EffectHouse #TikTokAR

♬ original sound – AliveNow: Creative Tech Studio

Since. this ad format is a little bit more complex to execute than the default format of TikTok, you will need to keep in mind more ad specs to ensure it can work smoothly. So, let’s look at all the requirements for Branded Effect:

Brand exposure specs

  • Logo: The logo display area should be within 150x130px and must only contain one logo.
  • Product: The product display area must also be within 150x130px.
  • Promotion: The campaign theme and slogan display area must be within 300x130px.
  • Spokesperson and IP figure: The display area for these should be within 480x270px.

Branded Effect name specs

  • Character limit: up to 30 English characters (10 characters is the most optimal for display) without emojis, #, and special symbols.

Branded Effect icon specs

branded effect icon specs
  • You can either use an icon provided by TikTok or provide your own.
  • The image of the icon must be consistent with your Branded Effect.
  • Icon resolution: 162x162px (equal to export size) and the icon must have rounded corners and a transparent bleed area.
  • Icon safe area: 144x144px with 20px round corners.
  • File type: .png
  • File size: < 60kb

Hint text specs

For some effects, you will need to give a hint on what TikTok viewers must do to trigger its appearance (e.g. tap the screen, shake your head). You need to ensure that the hint text is:

  • Character limit: ≤48 characters (most optimal length is 24 characters), without emojis, #, or any special symbols
  • The text should be clear and inform exactly what the viewers need to do
  • You can add the movement illustration to make the hint clearer

Music specs

  • Cover image resolution: 800x800px with key brand elements placed in the center of the circle area (260px diameter).
  • Image file size: ≤10MB.
  • Music file types: .mp3 and .wav 
  • Track length: 15 seconds to 1 minute (15 seconds is the most optimal)
  • Song name’s character limit: ≤60 English characters, and there is no limit for the artist’s name.
  • It is recommended to limit both the song name and the artist’s name to ≤12 English characters without emojis and special symbols.

Collection Ads 

Created for e-commerce, TikTok Collection Ads enables users to discover and browse products in a full-screen mode without leaving the TikTok app. This format leads your customers to an Instant Gallery Page and lets them freely search for the products of their choice.   

TikTok update: Starting April 3rd, 2023, users will be unable to create new Collection Ads or modify or duplicate existing ones. The core functionalities of Collection Ads will be incorporated into Video Shopping Ads.


Collection Ads combine a TikTok ad with a fast-loading shoppable gallery! 🛍️ Link in bio to learn more #AdTok

♬ original sound – TikTok For Business – TikTok For Business

Dynamic Showcase Ads (DSAs)

Similarly to Dynamic Product Ads, TikTok Dynamic Showcase Ads are customized video ads that are created in real-time and based on an advertising template. This template contains relevant product information which is automatically updated on a regular basis. Until now, this type of social advertising is presently tested in a few markets and is yet available for all users. 

TikTok update: Starting April 3rd, 2023, users will be unable to create new Dynamic Showcase Ads or modify or duplicate existing ones. The core functionalities of Dynamic Showcase Ads will be incorporated into Video Shopping Ads.

TikTok Dynamic Showcase Ads
TikTok Dynamic Showcase Ads – Source: TikTok

Shopping Ads

TikTok Shopping Ads is an advanced three-in-one solution that allows brands to satisfy all steps during the customer buying process. This format included 3 types: Video Shopping Ads, Catalog Listing Ads, and Live Shopping Ads which are suitable for diverse demands. 

Video Shopping Ads

Let’s learn about Video Shopping Ads. Based on 2 existing TikTok ad formats: Collection Ads and Dynamic Showcase Ads we just mentioned above, Video Shopping Ads are hyper-relevant and smart videos with personalized recommendations based on audience interactions. 

Video Shopping Ads – Source: TikTok

Those videos will appear on the For You Page and allow marketers to show their unique products. Especially, a landing page will be automatically created to encourage viewers to take desired actions. 

Catalog Listing Ads

Compared to Video Shopping Ads, Catalog Listing Ads features allow you to increase engagement through product catalogs across the app. Instead of video, Catalog Listing Ads advertise products via photos which will be shown in Branded content on the For You Page. 

Catalog Listing Ads – Source: TikTok

However, Catalog Listing Ads are only being tested in the US market.

Live Shopping Ads

Only available in the UK, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, Live Shopping Ads is the ad type that promotes TikTok live shopping streams. This ad type enables brands to show their products in real time via streaming events.

Live Shopping Ads
Live Shopping Ads

Designed specifically for e-merchants, Live Shopping Ads is an effective technique to improve your business scale: 

  • Simplify the customer buying process, spark demand, and boost sales for your business.
  • Provide different ways to present your product and then attract new customers.

General ad specs for TikTok Shopping Ads

Now, you know the general of how each type of ad format works. To enhance their performance, make sure that you follow these ad specs for Shopping Ads:

  • File format: You can upload the list of products using file formats CSV, TSV, and XML
  • Production information: Ensure that you have all of the fundamental information for your products, including the product’s name, description, images, prices, inventory levels, etc.
  • Data requirements: You should fill in all of the required data such as product ID, description, image URL, and landing page URL.
  • Production variations: If one product of yours has many variations such as size and color, you should add those as a separate product with unique IDs.

Lastly, Carousel Ads is now a trending TikTok ads solution for e-commerce businesses. Via this TikTok ad, you can upload up to 10 images which will display from left to right with unique captions and a simple URL. 

Otherwise, Carousel Ads give you a chance to increase your creativity by determining the photo order. However, running images can lead to a breakdown in communication lacking visual aid. 

Being one of the most effective ads for e-merchants, Carousel Ads is an awesome tool for:

  • Tell brand stories by using images and captions.
  • Feature products as a virtual catalog.
  • Focus on important product details.

If you have the intention to master Carousel Ads, you should focus on your TikTok Ads structure to meet all the requirements. All the images and captions in a Carousel Ad must be censored in the ad review. If one element does not pass this process, your entire carousel will be rejected. 

TikTok ad specs for Carousel Ads

  • File type: .jpg or .png
  • Image size: No specific requirement for image size; the platform will automatically tailor the image in the center for square format (640 x 640 px) or horizontal format (1200 x 628 px)
  • File size: No specific restrictions, but the suggested file size is ≤500 KB
  • Title text: between 12 and 40 characters

If you want to discover more about all the most affordable and premium ad formats, we have released a new video that helps you choose the best format for your business. Give our video a try and you will know which one is dedicated to you!

Best practices for TikTok advertising

Understanding your target audience

Understanding your target audience is paramount when it comes to crafting successful TikTok ad campaigns. With TikTok’s diverse user base spanning different demographics and interests, pinpointing who your ideal audience is can significantly impact the effectiveness of your ads. Take the time to conduct thorough audience research, leveraging TikTok’s analytics tools to gain insights into demographics, interests, and behaviors.

Creativity and authenticity

Creativity and authenticity are essential for success in TikTok advertising. Originality is key, with brands needing to embrace creativity in their ad content to stand out. From captivating visuals to innovative storytelling, fresh ideas help ads shine amidst the platform’s vibrant landscape. Equally important is authenticity, as TikTok users value real and relatable content. By showcasing the human side of their brand and staying true to their values, brands can build trust and credibility with their audience. 

Using creative tools

Creativity reigns supreme, and leveraging the platform’s diverse array of creative tools is essential for success. Whether it’s experimenting with music, audio clips, effects, stickers, or other features, brands have a wealth of resources at their fingertips to craft compelling content for their campaigns. TikTok recommends opting for faster-paced tracks, particularly those exceeding 120 BPM, as they tend to drive higher view-through rates (VTR). 

However, the key lies in reinterpreting these sounds and lyrics to ensure originality and resonance with the audience. Additionally, brands should pay careful attention to TikTok creative specs and their captions and text overlays, ensuring they are engaging and concise to match the dynamic pace and energy of TikTok videos.

What is the most suitable TikTok ad format for you?

With so many different options to choose from, it depends on what you’re trying to achieve and your capability to optimize your ads based on the specs of each ad format.

For example, as a small e-commerce store, the In-FeedAad format is probably the best bet, as they don’t have complex ad specs, and the price is more affordable when compared with general TikTok ads cost. This type of ad appears in users’ feeds as they scroll through the app, so it still has the potential to reach a lot of people and give you good performance.

New to TikTok Ads? Want to promote your products and maximize ROAS on TikTok without wasting time & money? Unlock the full potential of your TikTok Ads with NestAds’ feature-rich creative analysis tool. With NestAds – a comprehensive ad tracking and marketing attribution software, you can effortlessly monitor trends and optimize your ads for maximum impact. 

From imagery to messaging to format, our creative analytics report empowers you to identify the most effective elements for engaging your target audience and driving conversions. Start harnessing the power of data-driven advertising today and elevate your TikTok campaigns to new heights!


What are some TikTok Ad formats?

TikTok offers various ad formats, such as In-Feed Ads, Top-View Ads, Spark Ads, Branded Effect, Brand Takeover Ads, Branded Hashtag Challenges, Collection Ads, Dynamic Showcase Ads, Shopping Ads, and Carousel Ads. These ad formats allow for user interaction, and high visibility, and encourage content creation. As an e-commerce store, using these ad formats can help increase engagement and drive more traffic to your site.

What is the best TikTok ad size?

TikTok video ads

  • Aspect ratio: 9:16, 1:1, or 16:9
  • Video resolution: 720 x 1280 px, 640 x 640 px, and 1280 x 720 px.
  • File types: .mov, .mp4, .3gp, .mpeg, or .avi.
  • Video length: TikTok video ad length is between 5 and 60 seconds (9-15s are the most optimal)
  • Video size: within 500MB. 
  • Bitrate: ≥516 kbps

TikTok image ads

  • File types: JPG, JPEG, PNG
  • Image resolution: 720 x 1280
  • Image size: within 100MB

Are TikTok ads efficient?

According to TikTok, a lot of people find their ads entertaining – 83% of users, to be exact! And 1 in 4 TikTok users worldwide has either bought something or at least checked out a product after seeing it advertised on the app. So, it seems like there’s definitely potential for your business to reach new customers and make some sales through TikTok ads.

What is the best TikTok ad length?

TikTok recommends keeping ads between 21-34 seconds long. However, you can make them up to 60 seconds long if you really need to. To keep viewers interested, make sure to grab their attention with an eye-catching intro in the first 3-10 seconds. And remember, the key message or product should be highlighted within the first 3 seconds to get the most out of your ad.

Rosie is a professional content writer, focusing on technology and e-commerce business. When she’s not working, you will find her immersing in movies or hanging out with her friends.


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