Facebook quietly removes 20% text limit on ad images


A few months ago, whispers about a chạy thử that would change the way brands advertise on Facebook started spreading.

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According lớn the rumors, the social network was considering doing away with the “20% text rule”. The rule showed the amount of text allowed on ad images. It’s a guideline that’s caused advertisers on the platform much frustration, & many times a lot of additional work (so much so that people have devised ways lớn beat the system).

In a blog post, Facebook marketer Mike Gingerich said the following say about the rule:

“I’m not able lớn print 20% of the bad words I’ve sầu said while trying to lớn create Facebook Ads without using Facebook image representations. Using the word ‘Facebook,’ và making sure the text stays under that percentage.”

Industry insider Jon Loomer isn’t a big bạn of the 20% text guideline either:

“First of all, Facebook’s 20% rule that applies lớn the amount of text that can appear within images of News Feed ads is stupid và poorly enforced, it’s inconsistent and ridiculous that it applies lớn liên kết thumbnail images. Did I mention that I hate it?”

If you’re like Mike và Jon, you’ll be happy lớn know the rumors are true — Facebook did officially get rid of the rule for good.

Time khổng lồ rejoice, right?


Not quite.

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The old Facebook 20% text rule

Until recently, Facebook advertisers could cover their ad images with no more than 20% text. To adhere to guidelines, those who paid for reach on the platform were forced lớn use a Facebook tool that divided ad images with a 25-rectangle grid (it’s since been replaced with a different tool, but more on that later). Ad image text that took up more than 20% of the rectangles wasn"t allowed to lớn run.

The tool was largely ineffective sầu and depended on the position of the text more than it did the amount of text:


The main issue with the ad text image is noisiness & news feed saturation. When any of Facebook’s 1.65 billion users log inkhổng lồ the platform, their networks giới thiệu an average of 1,500 stories per day. That’s 1,500 posts the social network’s algorithm has to prioritize in your news feed.

Do you want to see the sonogram of your coworker’s baby or the đoạn phim of your cousin surfing the waves of San Diego? Would you rather read your mom’s politically charged status update or marvel at the watercolor self-portrait your friover just finished?

You don’t get lớn decide; Facebook’s algorithm does. And somewhere in there, it needs to make room for advertisers. That’s when text overlay on ad images comes inlớn play.

The importance of text on Facebook ad images

If you want people lớn interact with your ad, you first have sầu khổng lồ get them to notice it. As we scroll through our Facebook feeds, quickly scanning for posts we want to consume, it’s the ones containing bright, colorful imagery that stop our index finger in its tracks.

This should come as no surprise, considering research conducted almost 40 years ago indicates that we tend lớn notice images and headlines on a page first. Then read bolded words after that, and consume blochồng text last.

To take advantage of our natural attraction to images, many Facebook advertisers add CTAs to lớn their ad photos, & compelling words lượt thích “free,” “you,” and “limited-time offer,” knowing they’ll be read more often than the actual post text.

Here’s an example from WordStream:


The ability of posts lượt thích these to lớn grab users’ attention is more important now than ever following Facebook’s announcement that its news feed algorithm will be changed yet again to favor friends’ content over advertisers.’

Not all advertisers agree

While many industry authorities cite using text overlay as a great way khổng lồ draw social truyền thông media users to a Facebook ad (including ourselves), the team over at SketchDechồng, say that more text on an ad image actually plummets CTR.

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After testing 48 Facebook ads lớn bust 6 marketing myths, here’s what they found:


The results go against everything industry insiders tell us. An ad that didn’t clearly display its value proposition using text overlay should perform better than one that did. Similarly, flashy text that reads “Free” or “Limited-time offer” should turn us off.

The SketchDeông chồng team has a guess:

“We think the ads with text overlaid looked, well, like ads. Users saw the text or hotline to lớn action, registered it as an ad, & then moved on. One of Facebook"s tips is that an ad image should not look out of place in the news feed, many users are plastering text across the images that they posts.”

Maybe that’s the reason.

However, that doesn’t mean they’re altogether worthless. In fact, a recent update from a Facebook representative sầu suggests the complete opposite.

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The new Facebook text overlay rule

Not long ago, Facebook Product Marketing Manager, Afsheen Ali, reached out khổng lồ Jon Loomer to lớn officially address the rumors regarding the 20% text rule:

“Our retìm kiếm 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 lớn run on Facebook, Instagram, or the Audience Network. Some advertisers think 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. Facebook is shifting lớn a new solution khổng lồ improve this experience which allows advertisers more flexibility while still allowing us to lớn maintain an enjoyable experience for people.”

This looks lượt thích a win-win at first glance. But, in reality, the 20% rule hasn’t changed that much at all.

Under Facebook’s new guidelines, an ad isn"t outright rejected if it contains more than 20% text, but it will have sầu its reach limited — in some cases significantly. Instead of using a “run or reject” system, Facebook will now categorize your ad according lớn the following ratings:


With Facebook’s new text overlay tool, you can upload an image lớn see what the chances are it will have sầu its reach restricted. We put a couple of our own images to the kiểm tra...


They passed with flying colors.

Determined khổng lồ find out, we took a screenshot of one of our post-clichồng landing pages for our new & improved post-click trang đích cần seo optimization resource and uploaded it. It’s almost entirely text:


Still, we only managed to lớn reach Facebook’s “Low” text rating:


These examples showcase what will and will not come under the new rule:

OK Image Text


Low Image Text


Medium Image Text


Image Text: High


The following are exceptions, and DO NOT count as text on your ad image:

InfographicsBook/Album coversFull Product imagesPosters for movies, festivals, sporting events, & showsLegal textApp screenshotsCartoon và comic stripsText-based business calligraphy

These, on the other h&, DO count as text on your image:

NumbersText-based logosWatermarks, regardless of whether or not their usage is mandatory

Should you still limit your image ad text?

Facebook says their users prefer ads with little to lớn no text. Since Facebook controls ad reach and campaign cost on its platform. It’s wise to lớn follow the new rule — which doesn’t offer as much flexibility as they’d have sầu you believe.

Think about your chất lượng selling proposition. What’s going to draw your users in? Overlaying text like “không lấy phí,” “you,” “new,” and “instantly.” Use it wisely & sparingly, và your ads will continue to lớn run with maximum reach and at minimum CPC.

Always connect all your ads to personalized post-click landing pages lớn lower your cost per customer acquisition. Start creating your dedicated post-click pages by signing up for an zerovn.net chạy thử today.

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by Ted Vrountas

Ted Vrountas is a nội dung writer at zerovn.net who hates most kinh doanh content. As a human among mỏi marketers, his goal is lớn write words people actually want lớn read.

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