25th September 2020
According to reports, Facebook has removed restrictions on image ads that include more than 20% text in the main image.
Historically, ads with ‘too much’ text in the image would not be approved by Facebook and were therefore ineligible to serve, causing problems for many advertisers having to reformat ads to align with the rules.
This rule was an attempt to reduce the amount of text noise in the news feed and to improve the general user experience as prior to the multiple ad units and media options that are now available, the Feed was mostly text and images. Therefore, ads with lots of text on them would create a more chaotic and cluttered experience for the user.
A Text Overlay tool was available for advertisers to check whether static creative met the guidelines before submitting their ad. It included detailed Image Text Ratings based on the proportion of text in the static image (ok/low/medium/high) and feedback on how performance may be affected by the text or if it may not run. That tool is no longer available.
At the time of writing, Facebook had not released a formal statement on the change, however the wording has been updated on the Facebook Help page with regards to text in ad images. It now references the 20% metric as a creative best practice rather than a rule to adhere to that would prevent the ad from being served.
The update prevents any reach restriction for image ads with high amounts of text. Facebook has explained that: "...we will no longer penalize ads with higher amounts of image text in auctions and delivery”.
Advertisers are still encouraged to run ads with reduced text as Facebook has found that “images with less than 20% text generally perform better”. This means there are unlikely to be any significant changes to campaign performance, as the recommendation for low text remains unchanged – however it will open up new avenues for advertisers to include more informative messaging where necessary.
The 20% rule was created when Facebook was a very different experience and this change has been rumoured for some time, especially with the plethora of different ad formats now at an advertiser’s disposal.
This is a significant update and will come as good news for advertisers as it means there is no possibility that an image ad will be rejected in Ads Manager for too much text and image ads with large amounts of text will not have restrictions imposed on their reach.