With Facebook the most important element is the image ad.  I know adcopy is still important but that is dwarfed by what a good product image ad can do for your campaign.

Once you have that perfect looking image we all like to place information on top of the image.  This might be a great Call to Action, a benefit from the product, identifying a pain point or many other common ad copy techniques.

What happens all the time is that damned 20% warning we get when our text is over 20% of the image.  This has been frustrating advertisers for years on the Facebook platform.

How the Old Rule Worked

As already outlined. when you have over 20% of text on an image Facebook would reject that creative. Sometimes the system would catch it right away and we could make modifications to the text but other times the ad went live and only after the fact during a review would the ad get rejected.

For many marketers the 20% rule was well known and when we create our banners our outsource the work we could stipulate the adcopy should not be more then 20% of the image ad.  That and we could quickly edit inside Photoshop to make adjustments if need be on the fly.

However most small businesses out there pushing their own stuff don’t have the ability to quickly modify images and this was a big hurdle for many of them.  It’s a common complaint I would hear all the time and with this requirement being removed I’m sure Facebook commonly heard the complaint themselves.

“Our research has shown that people demonstrate a preference for ads with less text. Previously, if 20% of an ad image’s area was text, it was not approved to run on Facebook, Instagram or the Audience Network. We’ve heard from some advertisers that this can be confusing, as it’s not always clear that an ad does not meet the policy requirements until after creative has been submitted. We are shifting to a new solution to improve this experience which allows advertisers more flexibility while still allowing us to maintain an enjoyable experience for people. ” – Taken From Jon Loomer’s website when he asked Facebook what the reason for the change was.

Facbook as long held that under 20% text in image ads is preferred by it’s viewers.  I tend to side with Facebook on this as I know just how powerful a great image can be for your campaign.

How the New System Works

Facebook will now go by a 4 stage rating for the ads text density with OK being the best rating possible and High being the worst rating.

  • OK
  • Low
  • Medium
  • High

You ads will not be rejected but categorized and fall into one of the above categories.  The more text you have in your adcopy the lower the rating you will have and ultimately the less distribution and high CPC you will end up paying.

Why You Should Still Use Under 20%

You will be rewarded so it seems if you use little to no text inside your image and let the image speak for it’s self.  At the end of the day you need to do what you can to get your CPC down and have a wide distribution and if having under 20% ad text will help to do that then in nearly every case you should do that.

Here are the messages from the new Rating System


You ad’s image contains little or no text.  This is the preferred image style.


Your Ad’s Reach May Be Slightly Limited

You may reach fewer people because there’s too much text in the ad image. Facebook prefers ad images with little or no text.  Consider changing your image before placing your order.


Your Ad’s Reach May Be Limited

You may reach fewer people because there’s too much text in the ad image.  Facebook prefers ad images with little or no text.  Consider changing your image before placing your order.


You may not reach your audience if you use an image with this much text.

You may not reach your audience because there’s too much text in the ad image.  Facebook prefers ad images with little or no text. Unless you qualify for an exception, change your image before placing your order.

Is the Change Good or Bad?

For marketing companies I think this is a clear win.  I think this in some ways makes Facebook Look harder to use and master and whenever that is the case it’s a win for ad agencies.

For most small businesses I think it’s a win because you now have a clearer path forward.  You don’t have to get those creatives reworked and Facebook will let you know your score and the reason why you got the score.  You can still use the creative you paid for or created yourself and going forward you know the reason why you got your lower score and can make changes the next time around if you wanted.

Facebook Grid Tool

Soon Facebook will be upgrading the Grid tool so advertisers can quickly check the text density of their ad.  the grid tool can be found at

When you create an ad in the Power Editor you will also be given a warning if you have too much text in the image ad copy. The Power Editor can be found at

When the Hammer Drops

Hammer might be too strong a word.  The new change should roll out in the coming weeks and effect all Facebook advertising accounts.






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