Facebook’s 20-Percent Text Rule on Ad Images Still Alive and Kicking!

Just a quick blog post on Facebook’s new advertising image rules as I’ve just seen a post by a friend commenting on an ad that’s been approved but clearly breaks the 20% text rule.

As of 22 March 2016, Facebook started to allow ads with more than 20% text. However, don’t be lulled into a false sense of security, the 20% text rule is still alive and kicking. What Facebook has done is move the responsibility back to the advertiser to comply with the text rule rather than them approving or disallowing an ad.

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Facebook clearly states that ads that contain images with little to no text tend to cost less and have better delivery than ads with image text.

Facebook has identified 4 categories of image text your ad can fall into:

Category 1:  Facebook sees this as their preferred image style:

Facebook Text Rule Category 1

Category 2: Image text: Low. Facebook would only slightly limit your ad’s delivery but is beginning to penalise you.

Facebook Text Rule Category 2

Category 3: Image text: Medium. Your ad’s reach may be limited.

Facebook Text Rule Category 3

Category 4: Image Text: High. Here Facebook is clearly telling you that you may not reach your audience.

Facebook Text Rule Category 4


Exceptions to the Text Rule

You’ll be relieved to know that there are certain types of text that won’t limit the delivery of your ad:

  • Movie Posters
  • Book Covers
  • Album Covers
  • Product Images – Where an entire product can be seen and not just a zoomed in image of the product.
  • Posters for concerts/music Festivals, Comedy Shows or Sporting Events
  • Text-based Businesses Calligraphy, cartoon/comic strips, etc.
  • App & game screenshots
  • Legal text
  • Infographics.

There are also guidelines on what’s not allowed in your image and counts as text:

  • Logos – Any text-based logo is counted as text regardless of its size or alignment
  • Watermark – Watermarks are considered as text, even if they’re mandatory or as per their brand guidelines
  • Numbers – All numbers are considered as text.

The message from Facebook is clear. When you use images, try to include as little text as possible on the image itself. For any text you use in your ad, Facebook recommends that you include it in the post, rather than the image. According to Facebook, ads with more image text tend to not be received as well by the target audience.

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