Facebook Ads Text Rules

Facebook Ads Text Rules - 315

Finally, Facebook has done something about its restrictive ad rules!

The 20% rule – which limited the amount of text accompanying an ad to just 20% of the overall surface area of a 5 x 5 grid – was really starting to grind on marketers’ nerves. Logos counted toward the text limit, text on a t-shirt someone was wearing counted, etc. The rejection process was an automatic algorithm based on the grid. So there was no option to explain the text was a part of the image.

Understandably, Facebook Ads need to minimize text clutter. Their research shows that the reading audience prefers clean, readable lines and images over writing. However, it was making it difficult for marketers to get their message across.

Why the Facebook Ad Rule Change?

This is simply a case of a giant company trying to balance the desires of its customer base and its B2B relationships. Through research, Facebook consumers have shown that they prefer ads with less text. Business owners and marketers that use the social networking giant to promote their wares have flooded Facebook with complaints about the restrictions and confusing parameters.

Perhaps more importantly, Facebook noticed that ads were being rejected at a clip that was losing them too much money. So it was necessary for them to make a shift in their stringent policy.

Specifics of the New Rule

As a consequence of receiving so many complaints about rejected ads, Facebook has sought to streamline the ad-acceptance algorithm. Most importantly, they’ve eliminated the most unfriendly part of the code: ads are not rejected based on text density any longer. All advertisements are judged by these categories:

  • The “OK” Category – This Facebook ad has very little text; if any. It appears to be the one that gets the most positive response from consumers.
  • The “Low” Category – this section is reserved for the ads that were just barely acceptable under the old 20% algorithm.
  • The “Medium” Category – this category is reserved for ads that would NOT have made it in under the old rule. Now, it allows advertisers to populate the image with text boxes around the picture.
  • The “High” Category – These Facebook ads were rejected outright. Although they are no longer declined by the system, these text-laden ads will be charged a higher cost.
  • Text density = higher CPC. It allows businesses to have their ads seen, but they’ll have to pay a cost if there’s more than the optimal number of characters reducing the allowable image area.

Ad Exceptions

In case some of the Facebook ad changes come across as too financially restrictive, marketers should know that the higher costs won’t apply to the following ads:

  • comic-strips
  • calligraphy
  • video game screenshots
  • event posters, concert posters and movie posters
  • infographics
  • app graphics
  • album and book covers
  • legal content

Of course, if there’s still some confusion left after the new rule changes, businesses can always use Facebook’s native “Create Ad” function to streamline the process and make it easy to select the correct category.  So, while the total restriction is now gone, the reach of a text-heavy add is reduced compared to its non-text heavy image ad counterpart.

Remember:  Simple, clean, and concise is the way to go on text within image ads.  They key is the image itself!  Use people and images that grab attention.

In short, the new feature changes help marketers frustrated with the text limitations affecting their previous ads.


About Mike Gingerich

Mike Gingerich, President of Digital Hill & TabSite is a business blogger Marketer and Consultant. Part geek, part marketer, part strategist, total fitness and running junkie. Mike is an author and speaker, having presented at Social Media Week Lima, Social Media Camp (Canada) and more. Mike is a marketing, social media, and business startup enthusiast with 10+ years experience building apps, consulting, and training businesses with winning integrated strategies. Mike loves deploying tactics to increase awareness, sales, and maximize ROI in both B2B and B2C markets via digital media.