For advertisers that have struggled with the 20% text on ad images rule, you’re probably thinking, “HURRAY! The stress is over!” Well, not exactly. I’ll explain.
First of all, the rule has been around for a few years. I know what you’re probably wondering, how do you know if your text takes up 20% of the ad image? By using a grid tool. Basically, if an image is broken up into a 5×5 grid, it could not have text in more than five of those squares.
As many Facebook marketing agencies figured out, it wasn’t always about the amount of text, but where that text was located that would result in a rejected ad. Many advertisers struggled with the issue that they could move the text to abide by the 20% rule, but then it really doesn’t look that pretty and get overwhelmed with rejections.
Afsheen Ali, a Product Manager at Facebook shed some light about why the ad images change was made and what kind of impact it will have:
“Our research has shown that people demonstrate a preference for ads with less text. Previously, if 20% of an ad image’s area was text, it was not approved to run on Facebook, Instagram or the Audience Network. We’ve heard from some advertisers that this can be confusing, as it’s not always clear that an ad does not meet the policy requirements until after creative has been submitted. We are shifting to a new solution to improve this experience which allows advertisers more flexibility while still allowing us to maintain an enjoyable experience for people.”
There are now 4 categories of text overlay
- Image Text: OK – typically no text overlay other than a company logo – then your ads will display just fine
- Image Text: Low – your reach may be restricted
- Image Text: Medium – your ad will reach fewer people than optimal
- Image Text: High – they’re unlikely to display at all
Exceptions of text that doesn’t impact your ad images
- Movie Posters
- Book Covers
- Album Covers
- Product Images
- Posters for concerts/music Festivals, Comedy Shows or Sporting Events
- Text-based Businesses Calligraphy, cartoon/comic strips, etc.
- App & game screenshots
- Legal text
The following all count as text
These should be kept to a minimum:
- 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
Ultimately, Facebook clearly states that they prefer images to have little or no text. To ensure maximum reach, reserve all your promotional text for the post itself.