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There will be cries of joy for advertisers who have struggled with Facebook’s 20% rule. The 20% rule no longer applies to text on Facebook ad images. No more rejected creatives because there’s too much text on them.

The 20% text rule for image ads on Facebook has been in force for some time to safeguard the quality of the user experience and the look and feel of our timelines. By stopping businesses from using images with too much text on ads, Facebook forced them to be more creative, and our timelines have been thankful. But at the same time it has been a nightmare for Social media marketers who saw numerous ads being rejected because they just had that little bit too much text.

Product Marketing Manager at Facebook quoted “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 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.”

The Change to Text in Ad Images

The rule has not been totally removed but it has been made more flexible. The new rule will not stop you from using any image no matter the amount of text on it. On the contrary, it will let you use it for ads, but Facebook will warn you that the more text on your image, you can expect less distribution and higher costs.

Images will no longer be broken up into a 5×5 grid. Going forward, Facebook breaks down text density into four categories:

  • OK

  • Low

  • Medium

  • High

Following are the examples of each and what to expect regarding distribution.

Image Text: OK

Facebook prefers little or no text in an image

Facebook wants us to keep copy within the text box and off of ad images.

Image Text: LOW

Here’s an example with a “low” amount of text

In the above case Facebook says you can expect reach of your ads to be slightly limited.

Image Text: MEDIUM

Add even more text it will be considered as “medium”. In this case text added next to the logo

In this case Facebook highlights the reach will be severely limited.

Image Text: HIGH

Following is an example of too much text

Even in this case, Facebook won’t reject your ad. While this ad will get approved, you should expect very little reach and high costs.


Facebook also notes that these guidelines don’t apply to the following:

  • 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 and game screenshots

  • Legal text

  • Infographics

Facebook as a social outlet has made it clear that they prefer images to have little or no text. To ensure maximum reach, save your text for the post – not the image. The changes are not in place for all users as yet. Facebook is testing and rolling out the new options gradually.

How does this affect

There’s a distinct advantage and a distinct disadvantage with the new rule.

Advantage: Facebook advertisers and businesses are technically not limited to the text on their images anymore. You could always have less text, but now you can add just a bit more if it’s needed.

Disadvantage: The rule is a vague and open for interpretation. Technically you can add more text than before, but to what use? Your reach could be limited or totally absent because the ad may not display at all.


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