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The 20% Text Rule in Facebook Ads: Everything You Need to Know

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Are you going to advertise or have your Facebook ad disapproved for the amount of text? Learn all about the 20% text rule and increase your results!

One thing is certain: we know that just advertising is not enough. Especially when it comes to social media. For each network or channel, there is a format or model to follow so that your ad is not literally lost amidst the significant amount of information we see in web feeds across the board.

However, things get a bit complicated when the network itself offers options for you to assemble the ad in such a way that it may – or may not – be ideal for that medium.

This is the case of the 20% text rule on Facebook Ads. Have you heard of it? If not, good: Blue World City is here to explain everything about her! If so, stay with us for some extra tips.

What is the 20% text rule in Facebook ads?

The rule talks about the text contained in the ad images. Facebook found some time ago that images with less than 20% text perform more satisfactorily.

So, to create a better experience for the audience and advertisers, all ads served on Facebook, Instagram and the Audience Network are subject to an analysis process that identifies the amount of text in the image used in the ad.

Okay, but so what? The leap of the cat is in the flexibility: the user, based on the qualification that Facebook performs, can choose to reduce or not the content displayed in the images  – at their own risk.

And what is Facebook’s strategy behind this? Simple, camouflage the ads among the content already normally displayed in the  feed ; targeting clear, high-quality images with little or no text. After all, who of us would post a travel photo with a sentence right in the middle of it and go unnoticed? So it is…

What counts as image text?

Image text can be any text present in the ad image or creative. It doesn’t include text outside of the image – such as the body text of your ad.

Note the example below:

  1.  body text
  2.  ad image
  3.  image text

How is text analysis done on Facebook ads?

The analysis for ads containing an image is based on four categories of text concentration:

  • OK (good)
  • Low
  • Medium (average)
  • high

These ratings indicate to the advertiser the quality level of the ad on the platform according to the amount of text found in the image. Let’s go to each one of them:

Image Text: OK

Facebook still gives preference to those who use little or no text in their images. If your ad is categorized as OK, there will be no restrictions on the scope of the publication.

20% facebook text

Image Text: Low

With this ranking, your ads can be hurt in reach.

facebook image test

Image Text: Medium

In this category, your image will likely reach even fewer people.

20% facebook test

Image Text: High

If you are classified with a high concentration of text, your ad may not have any results.

facebook 20%

Different ad formats

In addition to analyzing single-image ads, Facebook also analyzes carousel ads and video ads:

Carousel Ads

The ad images are analyzed one by one to verify that they all comply with the text in images guidelines. Even if a single carousel image contains too much text, it will affect the entire ad. Therefore, it is not enough to configure only the first image of the carousel with less than 20% of the text, for example, in order to “dribble” the platform.

video ads

In this case, the video thumbnail is analyzed so that Facebook can make sure it meets the text guidelines.

Tool to measure

Facebook has a tool called Text Overlay, which allows you to upload the image you intend to use in your ad to see if the text concentration is above or below 20%.

The platform provides instant feedback on how much text each ad has, as well as the category it falls into (Ok, Low, Medium or High).

Also, whenever you create a new campaign in the Ad Manager or Power Editor you will receive a warning if the amount of text in the ad might limit its reach.

However, Facebook itself warns: the tool’s accuracy is not perfect and it also does not evaluate images from image banks. Use it more as a guide to help you create the ideal ad.

Tips to reduce the amount of text in Facebook ads

Facebook itself published some tips for advertisers so that their ads are within the 20% rule and not suffer penalties:

  • If you need to include text in the image, try to reduce the font size of the text and/or use fewer words. The text cannot be too small, so as not to make it difficult to read.
  • Make the most of the text in the text box and not directly over the ad image.
  • Avoid scattering text across the entire image.

Extra tip: focus on the image!

We couldn’t stop talking here about the power of an image. It will be the first item to capture the user’s attention. Therefore, even better than having an excellent copy is having an image of impact, well defined and built to stand out.

You only need a micro-moment: if it’s colourful, attractive or different in any way, it will make the user stop to take a closer look. This can generate more views on your ad and increase your conversion rates.

the exceptions

The rule does not apply to:

  • posters for films, concerts and music festivals, comedy shows and sporting events;
  • book and album covers;
  • Product images – when the entire product can be seen, not just zoom in on it;
  • Application and game screenshots;
  • Calligraphy, cartoons, cartoons;
  • Legal text;
  • Infographics.

And what is not considered an exception in an image and counts as text?

Logos

Any text-based logo is counted as text, regardless of its size or alignment.

Watermark

Watermarks are considered text, even if they are mandatory or in accordance with the brand’s guidelines.

Numbers

All numbers are considered text.

Conclusion

Facebook makes the process easier by making it less rigid. However, it is still necessary to be aware, as there are foreseen consequences for advertisers that exceed 20% of text in images in ads.

Using little text in your ad images is still the best idea. Have you ever dealt with the 20% text rule dilemma in Facebook ads? How was it? Let us know in the comments!