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Meta Ads Glossary: Your Essential Guide for 2024

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Table of contents

Found yourself searching the internet for Facebook ads terminology?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. 

Here’s an up-to-date, easy-to-follow guide to help you navigate the sometimes overwhelming world of Meta ads.

1. A/B test

A/B testing an ad means testing 2 versions of the ad to see which performs better. 

When you A/B test an ad on Meta, two variations (creatives) of the ad are shown to different segments of your target audience. 

Looking for a tool to A/B test your dynamic ad creative without losing learnings? Check out Socioh’s Smart Switch!

2. Ad campaigns

An ad campaign contains ad sets with the same objective or goal. It is the highest level in your ad hierarchy. 

Ad Hierarchy

When creating an ad on Meta, the advertiser defines the objective at the ad campaign level, the audience at the ad set level, and the creative at the ad level.

Ad campaign objectives include - awareness, traffic, engagement, leads, app promotion, and sales.

For eCommerce stores, we recommend the ‘Sales’ objective. as it optimizes for conversions (purchases).

Learn more about ad campaigns, ad sets, and ad creatives.

3. Ad format

Meta supports different ad formats depending on your advertising objectives. There are four main ad formats .— single image ads, video ads, carousel ads, and collection ads.

  1. Single image ads: Meta supports single image ads in sizes 1:1 (square feed), 4:5 (vertical feed), and 9:16 (stories/ reel).
  2. Video ads: Meta supports horizontal, vertical, and square video ad formats. These video ads can be placed in your stories, reels, feeds, etc. Learn more about placements.
  3. Carousel ads: Meta allows you to show two or more images/videos in a single ad format known as carousels.

          a. Manual upload: You can set the carousel ad manually by choosing up to 10 images/videos and arranging the cards in any order you like.

           b. Catalog: Also known as dynamic product ads, use a product feed to pull in data dynamically.

  1. Collection ads: These ads feature a primary video/ image along with three smaller images and is powered by an Instant Experience when someone interacts with it. An Instant Experience is a full-screen experience that opens after someone taps your ad on a mobile device.

4. Ad library

An ad library is a collection of ads stored in one place. It may be indexed or searchable to help you find ads by brand, occasion, offer, or product category. A go-to resource for advertisers, the ad library can inspire testing new creatives and offers in your store.

It can include various ad formats, such as images, videos, carousels, and stories. Businesses, agencies, and marketers commonly use ad libraries to look at competitors ads.

Examples of Ad Libraries include:

  1. Facebook Ads Library: A searchable repository of ads that run across Meta platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and Audience Network.
  2. TikTok Creative Center: A one-stop solution to find the best-performing ads on TikTok.
  3. Twitter Ads Library: A digital database of all ads that run on Twitter.
  4. LinkedIn Ads Library: A publicly available database of ads that have run on LinkedIn.

<blue-low-highlight>P.S. These can be very handy if you want to know which ads your competitors are running!<blue-low-highlight>

5. Ad set

Ad sets are collections of ads, within an ad campaign in Meta. 

An ad set is typically used to define the target audience for a group of ad creatives. You can set the demographics, age, and gender of the target audience here.

This ensures that Meta shows your ads to audiences who are most likely to convert.

Ad hierarchy

The added advantage to creating and defining ad sets is that you do not have to create multiple campaigns with different budgets to test audiences or creatives. Meta allows two budgeting options within a campaign — ABO and CBO. 

ABO, or Ad Set Budget Optimization, enables you to manually allocate spend at the ad set level, allowing you greater control (for example, when you want Meta to spend a certain amount of an audience or a set of creatives before you decide to scale it). 

On the other hand, Campaign Budget Optimization (CBO), is a method that sets the entire budget at the campaign level, allowing Meta to allocate the budget to your best-performing ad sets and ads.

6. Advantage+ catalog ads

Previously known as Facebook dynamic ads, Meta Advantage+ catalog ads use product catalogs to automatically create and show ads that are personalized to each viewer. 

These ads are tailored to the viewer's interests, browsing history/behaviors, or demographics. They combine the data from the product catalog with Meta’s own learnings to show the most relevant product to each shopper.

For this reason, catalog ads are one of the most profitable ad formats on Meta. 

Catalog ads can be run at the top of the funnel as DABA (Dynamic Ads, Broad Audience) campaigns or for retargeting ads as DPAs (Dynamic Product Ads). 

Learn more about dynamic ads, DABA, and DPAs.

Add branding, design, and automation to your dynamic ads in minutes. Learn more about how to customize your product feed images.

7. Advantage+ shopping campaign

A type of advertising campaign offered within Meta’s advertising ecosystem. As part of its Advantage+ products, ASC campaigns have fast become advertisers’ go to strategy. 

ASC uses machine learning to target a brand’s highest-value customers across all of Meta's apps and services. These campaigns require fewer inputs during campaign creation. They simplify audience options and streamline the creative management process.

With Adv+ campaigns, advertisers no longer need to run numerous campaigns with varying targeting and creative setups — Meta automatically targets shoppers most likely to purchase their products.

Learn more about what’s working in ASC campaigns.

8. Audiences

Audiences are pools of people you target when you advertise on Meta. There are two ways you can create an audience — specific, and broad.

  1. Specific audience: They use a specific set of parameters when created. Specific audience refers to detailed targeting, custom audience, and lookalike audiences.
  2. Broad audience: They rely on Meta’s delivery system to find the right campaign audience. Broad audiences also help target potential customers not yet familiar with your brand.

The audience you choose depends on your campaign objectives, and what resources you have available.

9. Business Portfolio

The Business Portfolio, earlier known as the Meta Business Account or Business Manager account, is part of the Meta Business Suite.

The Business Portfolio connects your Facebook pages, Instagram accounts and the access of people who work on them all in one place.

Here’s how the Business Portfolio can help you:

  1. View and manage all your business assets including ad accounts, catalogs on Meta Business Suite.
  2. Analyze insights, post content for your business.
  3. Create and manage shops and/ or run ads for your business.

With a Business Portfolio you can streamline all your business activities.

10. Commerce manager

The Commerce Manager is a platform within Meta’s business account which is used to manage your catalog information, Shop settings, and Shop sales.

The catalogs within the Commerce Manager hold details of all products you want to promote across Facebook or Instagram. 

Commerce manager also helps you customize your shop layout, manage featured collections, and get Shop customer insights.

11. DABA (Dynamic Ads for Broad Audiences)

Dynamic Ads for Broad Audiences (DABA) is a type of Dynamic Ad that helps advertisers connect with more people who might be interested in their products. It's like casting a wider net to find potential customers.

Instead of only showing ads to people who've visited a website or app, DABA looks for potential buyers who've shown interest in similar products online.

Example: You are browsing online for a shirt from brand ABC. Next time you are on Facebook or Instagram, you will see ads for shirts from different brands but those similar to the ones you viewed from brand ABC.

DABA ads are a great way to spread the word about products to potential shoppers who may not be aware of your brand.

Learn more about DABA.

12. DPA (Dynamic Product Ads)

Dynamic Product Ads (DPAs) are powered by a product catalog or product feed and are used for retargeting. 

They encourage conversions by showing potential buyers the same products that they have already engaged with on a website. 

Example: You are browsing online for a shirt. Next time you visit Facebook or Instagram, you will likely see the same shirt you have already viewed or added to your cart, followed by a carousel of other similar shirts that you may be interested in. That’s a DPA.

DPAs are one of the most effective ad units for eCommerce.

Learn more about DPAs.

13. Dynamic ads

Dynamic ads is now known as Meta’s Advantage+ Catalog Ads.

14. Dynamic creatives

Dynamic creatives allow you to create personalized creative variations for your ad viewers, with scalable results. 

These creatives use various components such as images, videos, texts, layouts, and customized elements to create variations of ads for each person who views the ad.

15. Facebook Pixel

The Facebook pixel or Meta pixel is a piece of code installed on your website. This measures the performance of your ads and also understands the actions of visitors on your website. 

The Meta pixel also ensures that your ads reach the right target audience and helps drive more sales.

<blue-low-highlight>Let’s take an example:<blue-low-highlight> Say a visitor adds an item to your website shopping cart or makes a purchase. Meta receives these actions, which you can view on Meta pixel. This in turn helps Meta in retargeting your shoppers with the same or related products on their Facebook or Instagram feed(s).

Note: Meta is transitioning Facebook Pixel to Dataset. Where, Dataset is like Facebook Pixel but better.

<blog-blue-text-block>TIP: Want to check if your events are going through correctly? Install Facebook’s Pixel Helper extension and check if your actions (add to cart, checkout, etc.) are triggering the correct corresponding events on your pixel.<blog-blue-text-block>

16. Learning phase

As Meta starts to deliver an ad, it also begins to ‘learn’ about it – is it getting clicks? Who is clicking on it? Are people purchasing or just browsing? And a lot more.

The more the ad delivers, the more Meta learns about optimizing the ad’s performance. This period when Meta is still collecting information about the ad is called the ‘learning phase’. 

In Meta, the learning phase is at the ad set level and is reset every time an ad is edited.

Learn more about attribution and campaign optimization.

Scared to edit your catalog ads? Try Socioh’s Smart Switchto edit running catalogs without losing campaign optimizations!

17. Meta ad library

Specifically refers to Meta’s searchable ad library (previously known as Facebook Ad Library). It is a repository of all ads run across Meta's platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and Audience Network. You can search by country and use available filters to sort by, such as:

  1. Ad category
  2. Keyword or advertiser
  3. Language
  4. Platforms
  5. Media type
  6. Active status
  7. Impressions by date

Want to check out your competitors' active ads? Here’s what you can do — Go to your competitors’ Facebook page and find Page Transparency under About.

Scroll down to the Ads from this Page section and click on Go to Ad Library.

You can view details of the competitors’ actively running ads, for the given month, on Meta.


18. Meta ads

On Meta, ‘ads’ refer to the creative (combination of caption, media, call-to-action, etc.) shown to shoppers.

Ads are grouped under ad set based on the audience and the goals of the advertiser.

Ad hierarchy

Ads can be dynamic or static. Dynamic ads are extremely effective as they automatically create and show ads personalized to each viewer.

Meta supports different ad formats depending on your advertising objectives. They can be carousels, videos, or single images.

19. Meta Business Account

Meta Business Account, also known as Business Manager account, is rebranded as Business Portfolio.

20. Meta Business Suite

Meta Business Suite is the hub where you manage all marketing activities for Facebook and Instagram. 

The Meta Business Suite provides you with a variety of tools making it easier for you to manage your online presence in one place.

Here’s how Meta Business Suite can help you:

  1. Get an overview of your business
  2. View activity on your business page
  3. Access and use the inbox to read new messages and review comments on your business page
  4. Create posts and stories to publish for your page
  5. Get insights about your business performance, latest trends, activity etc.
  6. Access numerous tools that not only help you manage your business but also help you as a creator. 
  7. Manage partnership and branded content for your business page.

Learn more about changes between Meta Business Suite and Meta Business Manager.

21. Primary feed

A primary feed is a product feed that contains all the important information about a company's products. It is the main data source of a dynamic ad or catalog ad. 

The primary feed controls the product listings in your catalog. If any product is removed from/added to your primary feed it will then be removed from/added to your dynamic ads/catalog. 

<blue-low-highlight>For example,<blue-low-highlight> if you remove product A from your primary feed then Product A will also be removed from your ads/catalog.

Also, see supplementary feed.

22. Product catalog / Product feed

A product feed or a product catalog is a list of all the products in your eCommerce store. It contains crucial product information like product title, price, image(s), size, color, category, etc.

The product feed can be added to Meta as a CSV, TXT, or XML file. Meta uses your product feed to power dynamic ads, Advantage+ Catalog, Facebook Shops, and product tagging in Instagram posts.

23. ROAS

ROAS, or Return On Ad Spend, is a metric that calculates the amount of revenue generated from each dollar spent on advertising. 

ROAS = Revenue Earned/Total Ad Spend

Learn more about key Facebook advertising metrics.

24. Supplementary feed

A supplementary feed is used to include additional information in your product catalog.

You can use a supplementary feed to send missing information or fix incorrect data about your product (e.g. color, size, Google Product Category, etc.). Since missing information can severely limit your Meta ad performance, supplementary feeds can be crucial for advertisers working with catalog ads.

Supplementary Feed

Supplementary feeds are also used by apps like Socioh to enhance dynamic ads with automation and graphics. Learn more about designing your catalog ads.

One of the biggest advantages of using a supplementary feed instead of updating your primary feed with missing information is to avoid loss of learnings. Editing a primary feed or catalog ad will result in a loss of all optimizations – whereas using a supplementary feed will retain all optimizations and learnings.

It is important to know that while a supplementary feed can add information about your products, it cannot add or remove products from your primary Product Feed.

Is there any term that we missed and you need an explanation about? Do comment below and we’ll add them to our list!

is a digital advertising platform for eCommerce brands. Our Branded Catalog is the industry leader in dynamic catalog advertising and product feeds.

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