BIG NEWS for graphic designers and Facebook advertisers. Earlier in late 2020, Facebook released a significant update that removes "<20% text" restrictions in Facebook Ad Images.
No More Text Percentage Restrictions
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.
As of Sept. 7th, we will begin gradually removing external material and sources that indicate that we enforce high levels of text in images.
Please note, Advertisers will still need to abide by our ad policies regarding the content of the text. Advertisers are still encouraged to reduce the amount of text with images, as we have found that images with less than 20% text generally perform better.
Why Was This Restriction a Thing?
For quite some time, Facebook has repeatedly noted that users dislike ads with too much text in the image, so it has restricted such images to improve the general user experience. As stated in its Help Page:
Facebook's ad system is designed to maximize value for people and businesses. That’s why we conduct research and analyze feedback from our community to understand how different attributes of an ad affect the ad’s performance.
We've found that images with less than 20% text perform better. With this in mind, we recommend keeping your text short, clear and concise in order to get your message across effectively.
However, Facebook changed its ad text regulations back in 2018, which enabled advertisers to include more text in their ads, but their ad reach would be restricted as a result, relative to how much you exceeded the limit.
This new update removes any reach restriction for this, meaning that ads with more than 20% text in the main image will be displayed as usual, and will reach the same amount of people as any other Facebook ad.
Still, on the Facebook Help Page about Best Practices For Image Ads recommends using images with less text to perform better, but no restriction of any kind is mentioned:
“Avoid too much text on the image itself. We've found that images with less than 20% text perform better, though there is no limit on the amount of text that can exist in your ad image.”
Goodbye Text Overlay Tool
Facebook's long-held text restrictions in ad images have caused major headaches for many advertisers, requiring significant, specific reformatting of ad images in order to align with Facebook's ad rules.
Until recently, designers had to make sure that the ad complies with the text percentage restriction. They had to use the Text Overlay Tool to see whether the image has more than 20% text to image percentage, as it was considered one criterion of approval. That tool is also no longer available, as Facebook looks to ease back its text in ad image restrictions. From now on, images with any amount of text content can be freely boosted.
At times, Facebook's enforcement process in this respect has also been flawed, so it'll be a relief to many to see those limits taken away.
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