For years, Facebook’s 20% text restrictions have been a thorn in the side of social media advertisers and graphic designers everywhere. On September 7, 2020, Facebook announced they will no longer be penalizing ads with higher amounts of image text. There is no better time than in the year 2020, for Facebook to remove its restrictions on the 20% text rule.
The 20% Text Rule Explained
Advertisements are two-sided and Facebook’s ad system is designed to uphold value for both the people and businesses. With the people in mind, Facebook felt that ads with too much text created a cluttered and noisy experience for users. Facebook believes too much text on an image was an obvious sign to users that it was an ad—leading people to scroll right past it. Therefore, Facebook created and enforced the 20% text rule.
In previous years, ad creators had to abide by the 20% text guideline, where text on an ad could not fill more than 20% of the image. If it did, the ad would be rejected and not allowed to run. This guideline not only caused advertisers and creators much frustration, and many times caused extra work in redesigning ads to get the text to fit within 20% of 25 boxes in the text overlay tool. This tool, however, was not a great option and would often give you a pass. Then, thinking you were in the clear, you would implement your ad into your campaign and Facebook would reject it for – you guessed it – too much text.
Over time Facebook started to ease up on this rule, so ads with over 20% text would not get flat out rejected, but would run with some limitations. And although Facebook claims this rule was for image ads, at Today’s Business, we would find video ads getting rejected for utilizing too much text as well. Facebook advertisers with years of experience learned how to manipulate this rule, by choosing a thumbnail for the video that met the 20% guidelines. But, at the end of the day, there was always a fear in the back of everyone’s head that Facebook could reject the ad and the ad creation process would have to begin all over again.
The Importance of This Change
Now that Facebook has lifted the 20% rule altogether, ad creators are free to put as much text as they’d like on an ad. But should you? Although this is a reason to celebrate, Facebook still believes ads with less than 20% text are a best practice. According to Facebook, “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 that 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.”
Even if ads with more text are not preferred, we’re just happy we have the power to decide.
If you are an active advertiser on Facebook, it is probably safe to say that you’ve already narrowed down some ad types and templates that are successful for your business. Now that you are free to include as much text in your ads as your heart desires, this does not mean you should completely revamp your creative strategy. It also doesn’t mean you shouldn’t push the limit and try new things. Use this freedom to run some creative A/B tests with different text options, but focus on the text being impactful, not just large.
Social Media Advertising at Today’s Business
Our Social Media Strategy team takes a comprehensive approach to social media marketing with your business goals in mind. Our methods are anything but one size fits all. We formulate a unique and competitive strategy for each brand that we work with. Depending on your goals, we are able to determine appropriate KPIs for each of your campaigns.
We are constantly keeping up to date on emerging trends in the social landscape to ensure that our campaigns are always utilizing best practices and performing adjacent to industry standards. If you are ready to start embracing the full potential of Facebook and Instagram advertising in your brand’s social media campaigns, let’s talk!