Facebook has released a new update that will lift some ad restrictions, a massive change for Facebook advertisers everywhere. The update will ease the '20 % text in images' rule for ad images, but it may take a few weeks before you can see the new options for ads on your account.
What was the deal with the old rule?
This restriction was a regular wall many marketers hit - if ad images contained more than 20% text, they would be rejected, and the ad's range was limited - in some cases, significantly. An ad getting rejected from time to time is no big deal as most advertisers will eventually have an ad rejected for one reason or another. However, it generally meant that you would have to format and tweak your original ad creative. Worse still, your Facebook Advertising account could be flagged (if it consistently violates the rules or if ads are regularly rejected).
Why did Facebook have this rule?
The idea behind the restriction was that Facebook wants ads to fit into your news feed, not look like posts you see from your friends. The platform is interested in the quality of the user experience for its ads, which means that it does not want spam advertising. This makes it easier for content to engage users without using clickbait, and it improves Facebook's ability to screen out low-quality content.
What is the new rule?
Instead of a blanket text density rule, Facebook will break it down into four different categories and will impose a higher cost on less preferred ads and limit the distribution and reach. The four categories will be as follows:
OK - little to no text,
Low - like the current rule <20%,
Medium - more text, placed in several locations,
High - the text obscures the image.
The Facebooks Ads platform is designed to maximise the value for both businesses, and it's users, and the research coming from Facebook shows that says that images with less than 20% text perform better and the need to keep the text short, concise, and clear are still an important content strategy - regardless of restrictions being lifted.