Facebook Changed The 20% Ad Image Text Rule

The 20% Ad image text rule no longer applies to text on Facebook ad images as of 22nd March 2016.

You may have not noticed that change, as Facebook is testing and rolling out new features gradually. The 20% ad image text rule on Facebook has been in force for some time. They even provided a basic grid tool that allowed you to check how much of your image was obscured by text. Without any highlights and notification to advertisers, Facebook quietly dropped the rule. With eliminating grid tool, Facebook now provide a “rough” visual guide as to the impact too much text will have on the reach of your advert.

We now have to make our own judgement as to whether we’ve used too much text or not. They most definitely have an algorithm behind the scenes, but they are not telling us what the scale is.

There are now 4 categories of ad image text rule

  • Image Text: OK
  • Image Text: Low
  • Image Text: Medium
  • Image Text: High

If your image text is classed as OK – normally it would be no text overlay other than a company logo – then your ads will display just fine.

Ad Image text 20% rule OK

Ad Image text 20% rule OK

With a low classification, your reach may be restricted.

Ad Image text 20% rule Low

Ad Image text 20% rule Low

Images in the medium text category your ad will reach fewer people than optimal.

Ad Image text 20% rule Medium

Ad Image text 20% rule Medium

If your images have a high volume of text then they’re unlikely to display at all.

Ad Image text 20% rule High

Ad Image text 20% rule High

Exceptions of text that doesn’t impact your ads

  • 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

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

To ensure maximum reach, reserve all your promotional text for the post itself, as Facebook clearly state that they prefer images to have little or no text.

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