Every avid marketer will be aware of the 20% text limit that Facebook applied to ad imagery. The restrictions were not well received by marketers who have had to reformat numerous images and use workarounds to get through ad approvals.
The rule was originally put in place to prevent the news feed becoming overly cluttered and negatively impacting the user experience. It was also suggested that text on an image made it obvious to users that the post was an ad. However, as time progressed and the platform developed, Facebook began releasing more complex ad formats that contained different levels of text and users began to edit their own images more and more. The distinction between a paid ad and organic post was becoming increasingly blurred.
In 2018, the restrictions were relaxed so that advertisers could include more text in their ads but their reach would be “limited” as a result. Facebook also created a “Text Overlay Tool” so that advertisers would be given immediate feedback on their text levels so that they could make the necessary amends ahead of ad creation. The tool also had the added benefit of highlighting the degree that images exceeded the text rule, giving an “Image Text Rating” of OK, Low, Medium or High.
This week, it was announced that Facebook will be removing all restrictions and ads with more than 20% text will not be penalised.
See the official explanation around text in images below:
Facebook's ad system is designed to maximise value for people and businesses. That's why we conduct research and analyse feedback from our community to understand how different attributes of an ad affect the ad's performance. We've found that images with less than 20% text perform better. With this in mind, we recommend keeping your text short, clear and concise in order to get your message across effectively.
Facebook have always reported that users react more positively towards ads with less text in and the restrictions would benefit users and advertisers alike. However, this has now transgressed into more of a best practise suggestion rather than a hard rule. Advertisers rejoice!
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