For a long time, Facebook had a rule that images in ads could not have text over 20% of the image.
Advertisers noticed this was becoming a less hard-and-fast rule, and in September were notified that Facebook would be gradually phasing out the rule.
Facebook’s help section officially states: “Note: There is no longer a limit on the amount of text that can exist in your ad image. The text overlay tool is no longer available.”
However it’s worth noting that Facebook still recommends the following practices:
Facebook’s ad system is designed to maximise value for people and businesses. That’s why we conduct research and analyse 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.https://en-gb.facebook.com/business/help/980593475366490?id=1240182842783684
What does this mean for marketers and social media advertising?
While this may not play a huge role for some marketers out there, it could be quite liberating for others.
For less image-centric businesses, having to use imagery with less text featuring on the image has been a long-standing headache.
No longer will advertisers need to reformat and edit images in order to meet Facebook’s image-to-text ad rules.
But while advertisers now have more room to experiment with images, it’s worth noting that Facebook had this rule because it found ads with less text within the image itself worked better, which ultimately would generate better results for businesses. Of course, this is largely down to the fact that users are inundated with information on their Facebook and Instagram feeds, so images which are largely text are going to add to the information-overload.
That’s not to say text can’t work – a large, snappy headline on an image could certainly outperform a generic stock photo if your business doesn’t produce specific photogenic products.
Facebook had previously allowed advertisers to include more text in ads, but the reach was restricted. The change now means that despite the amount of text, the advertising reach will not be limited so it will reach the same size audience as an ad without as much text.