Big News for Facebook Advertisers: Say Goodbye to Text Limits on Ad Images
It’s back to the drawing board for Facebook advertisers and creative teams — but in a good way. And that’s because as of September 7th, 2020, Facebook has dropped its long-held and largely disliked 20% text limit on ad images.
Taking into account the fact that the previous rule caused their advertisers a lot of frustration, the official announcement stated, “At Facebook, we are constantly improving and refining the best ways to improve the quality of ads on our platform. One of the ways is revisiting the effectiveness and impact of existing ad quality checks. As part of this review, we will no longer penalize ads with higher amounts of image text in auctions and delivery.” (Source: Facebook)
Specifics of the Old Rule
Previously, the <20% text content on images rule was designed to help create a better experience for viewers, so any ads — with a few exceptions, ie. event posters, infographics, cartoons or comics — exceeding these rules were rejected by the platform.
This was a real pain for creative teams, requiring them to work their design magic into a specific template. For example, imagine a 5×5 superimposed grid over your ad. If more than 5 of the squares had text, it wouldn’t pass. And while many advertisers found ways to strategically position the text to maximize their message without breaking the rule, the trickiest part was that even adding a company logo or having text within a picture was factored into the equation.
Facebook even offered a text overlay tool so you could check if your ad aligns with the restrictions, but that has since been removed to coincide with the updates.
How the New Rule Works
The rule is changing thanks to the feedback of tons of advertisers irritated with rejected ads and lost money wanting a better solution. The update will allow all ads to run regardless of text density.
But it’s super important to note that rule or no rule, less text is always better. The goal for any advertiser should be to keep content short, concise and easily digestible to not distract from your actual message. After all, that’s what captions are for. Ads that follow this best practice tend to perform better naturally, and those that do will be rewarded by Facebook with improved distribution and reach for lower costs.
To help with this, Facebook has broken down ad qualification into 4 categories:
- OK – the preferred category according to Facebook, utilizing little or no text. Any ad text is either in a text box, removed, or separate from the image itself.
- LOW – there’s a low amount of text within the ad image, similar to what’s currently allowed under the 20% rule, but with slight limitations on this ‘low’ category of included text.
- MEDIUM – this category includes more text, possibly placed in several locations around the ad image, which is considered to be slightly excessive by Facebook.
- HIGH – no surprise, Facebook considers there to be way too much text in this category. The text obscures the image and hinders the experience for Facebook users.
So, if you’re a seasoned advertiser who’s already in the habit of limiting text on images, this may not have a huge impact on your strategy. But it does offer new opportunities to get more ads in front of your audience with little effect on their reach if designed properly. For more information on best practices for designing ad images for your campaigns, contact Assemble to chat about your goals.