Grid Image Checker Tool: Facebook 20% Text Rule


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

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According to 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 platsize much frustration, và many times a lot of additional work (so much so that people have devised ways to 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 said while trying khổng lồ 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 tín đồ of the 20% text guideline either:

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

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

Time to 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 khổng lồ guidelines, those who paid for reach on the platkhung were forced to 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 khổng lồ run.

The tool was largely ineffective & 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 into lớn the platsize, their networks nói qua an average of 1,500 stories per day. That’s 1,500 posts the social network’s algorithm has lớn prioritize in your news feed.

Do you want lớn 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 friend just finished?

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

The importance of text on Facebook ad images

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

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

To take advantage of our natural attraction khổng lồ images, many Facebook advertisers add CTAs to lớn their ad photos, & compelling words lượt thích “không tính phí,” “you,” và “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 grab users’ attention is more important now than ever following Facebook’s announcement that its news feed algorithm will be changed yet again to lớn favor friends’ content over advertisers.’

Not all advertisers agree

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

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After testing 48 Facebook ads lớn bust 6 sale 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 persize better than one that did. Similarly, flashy text that reads “Free” or “Limited-time offer” should turn us off.

The SketchDechồng team has a guess:

“We think the ads with text overlaid looked, well, lượt thích ads. Users saw the text or Hotline to 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 officially address the rumors regarding the 20% text rule:

“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 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 sầu has been submitted. Facebook is shifting khổng lồ 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 to lớn the following ratings:


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


They passed with flying colors.

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


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


These examples showcase what will & 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 hvà, 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 khổng lồ no text. Since Facebook controls ad reach & campaign cost on its platform. It’s wise khổng lồ 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 lớn draw your users in? Overlaying text like “không tính phí,” “you,” “new,” and “instantly.” Use it wisely and sparingly, & your ads will continue to lớn run with maximum reach & at minimum CPC.

Always connect all your ads to lớn personalized post-cliông chồng landing pages khổng lồ lower your cost per customer acquisition. Start creating your dedicated post-cliông chồng pages by signing up for an kiểm tra today.

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by Ted Vrountas

Ted Vrountas is a nội dung writer at who hates most marketing nội dung. As a human amuốn marketers, his goal is to write words people actually want khổng lồ read.

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