Jun, 2016

Facebook has changed the 20% text rule for ads

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During March and April, we noticed something going on with Facebook adverts. It seemed ads that showed more than 20% text on the image were being approved. Normally they would be declined. We looked further into this and we discovered Facebook were running tests that allowed more text on adverts.  At the time it was only in the UK and just a small percentage of pages were allowed to do it. Our page was one of the lucky ones.

We spent time testing and measuring the results. Some ads with a lot of text were accepted and some adverts were not approved but continued to be shown to the people we targeted. After many tests we found the majority of our adverts went through without any problems even with a high amount on text on the image. However, we noticed the reach seemed to decrease.

At the time it was only a test but Facebook have now officially announced they are scrapping the 20% rule.  At first glance it sounds great as it was something that confused a lot of people. They would spend time preparing an advert and image and then have it declined by Facebook sometimes not knowing why.  It was very off putting and stopped people creating ads.  Removing the 20% rule should stop that and make it easier for people to create an advert for their business.

Is it really going to change things though? Our findings showed the reach decreased the more text we used. After investigating we found an article from Search Influence which confirmed what we had found and explained why.  Facebook is recommending you add your text into the post rather than add it to your image. They would prefer if you use as little text on an image as possible or at least limiting font size. Facebook also states “Facebook ads that contain images with little or no text tend to cost less and have better delivery that ads with image text”

 Facebook have split the text ads into 4 types:





Below is an example of what each one means


As you can see, if your image is considered “high” they may still approve the ad but not show it to your audience. The best thing to do is not to put too much text.

There are exceptions to this. Facebook 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

So what does it all mean?

To be honest, even though Facebook has removed the 20% rule we would still advise our clients to show as little text as possible.  Facebook have already said that users don’t react well to ads showing a lot of text on an image. Also, from the examples above, the more text you use the more you will be charged and the lower the reach. Would you really throw away your ad budget like that? As the saying goes “less is more”





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